By Scoop Reporter
SAVENDA Group is sending 70 percent of its 800 workers on forced leave next month due to financial challenges which have engulfed the company following the restriction of its bank accounts by the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC).
In October last year, the ACC issued a Restriction Notice on one of the bank accounts for Savenda Systems Limited after an attempt by Chief Executive Officer, Clever Mpoha, to withdraw the entire sum of US$3.4 million which was sitting in its account.
The Restriction was done pursuant to the Anti-Corruption Act. No. 3 of 2012, which gives the Director General powers to restrict property or money in a bank for a person who is under investigation.
This was after Mr. Mpoha was in August last year arrested and charged with Corrupt Practices by Private Persons in connection with a single-sourced contract between the Ministry of Defence and African Security Academy (ASA) of Poland for the financing and purchase of military uniforms for Zambia National Service worth US$927,448.
And in an internal memo signed by Group Human Resource Director Sylvester Kasonde dated 3rd March, 2023, the company says it will send the affected employees on forced leave on 5th April, 2023.
Mr. Kasonde says this is because the company bank account has been restricted and that the Government has not paid for the contracts already executed.
“After a review of various options available to the company to continue with operations and sustain a workforce of over 800 workers, I regret to inform you that effective 5th April 2023, 70% of our workforce will be required to go on forced leave. This is mainly due to the following reasons; 1. The main general bank account used for operations has been restricted. As such, it has been difficult to access funds to pay salaries and other operational expenses. 2. Non-payment of contracts already executed by Government institutions in spite of these payments being contractual, undisputed and long overdue.
“Despite our best efforts over the last 18 months to sustain operations and sustain our current workforce, the above stated have negatively impacted liquidity and overall operations. As such, management can no longer maintain 100% workforce level and has made the difficult decision to proceed with this step. On behalf of management, I thank you for weathering this storm with us and hope that it will soon come to pass,” reads the memo in part.