MORE than 30 companies have been liquidated this year with several others in the process of winding up operations or under judicial management, a development which would result in the loss of at least 1 990 jobs as Zimbabwe’s economy declines further.
According to statistics compiled by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU), 32 firms have wound up operations this year, with the furniture industry the most affected. Companies that have closed shop in the sector are Treadwinds, Ruwa Export, Hunyani Forest, Durawood, Marondera Sawmills, Ruwa Export, Woodwise and Silcome.
Although the total number of workers affected by the liquidation of furniture companies was not available, 230 workers were affected by the liquidation of three companies, Treadwinds (100), Silcome (80) and Woodwise (50), suggesting the total figure is much higher.
More than 460 workers were rendered jobless after four companies in the clothing sector went bust this year. These are Sybrook which employed 180 workers, Julie White Dresses (130), Kamunda Investments (64) and Laurel Creations (90). Companies in other sectors like engineering and construction that have liquidated include Kenmark, Auto Electrical and WRS.
Among firms in the process of liquidation are furniture enterprise JW Wilson International which employs over 1 000 workers, clothing company Security Mills, whose closure would throw 300 workers onto the streets and retail outlet Shoppa Stoppa.
Furniture company Woodwise Harare, textile firms Irazim & Travan and Perfect Bakery are under judicial management.
ZCTU secretary-general Japhet Moyo said yesterday the list is not exhaustive as they are still compiling statistics on companies in the manufacturing sector that have liquidated or are in the process of doing so.
He, however, said their findings so far were “deeply disturbing”.
“It is a very frightening situation,” Moyo said.
Most of the liquidations were not only due to the decline of the economy, but also attributable to poor corporate governance and mismanagement practices, he said.
The job losses due to company liquidations add to more than 5 600 workers retrenched this year.
Moyo recently said that 52 companies had retrenched hundreds of staff this year. The economy, reeling from low aggregate demand, falling production and a liquidity crunch, among a plethora of other problems, is now technically in recession after two successive quarters of negative growth.