via Cyanide deaths bombshell – Southern Eye by Richard Muponde 10 March 2014
BATTLE lines have been drawn between Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (Zimparks) senior management and middle managers after the authority reneged on implementing an agreed salary and allowance resolution amid revelations that this led to area managers sitting on information about the cyanide poisoning of elephants.
Over 100 elephants died through cyanide poisoning at the Hwange National Park last year.
A document gleaned by Southern Eye revealed that elephant poisoning was first detected in May last year and Zimparks had all the details and the people involved.
However, action was not taken until between August and October after it had become a catastrophe.
Reports said the middle managers sat on the information because of a feeling that top management was reluctant to act on resolutions of a board meeting of July 26 2012 on salary increments to middle managers.
“The board approved the request from the human, legal and permits committee to ratify management’s decision to award a 15% salary increase to employees with effect from January 2012 and also the implementation of the 5% and 3% differentials between grades and notches respectively,” the document reads.
Zimparks director-general Edson Chidziya was quoted in the minutes of the 43rd board meeting saying: “The board approved the provision of personal fuel allocation of 40 litres and 60 litres to Grades D1 and D2 respectively with effect from 1st April 2012 as recommended by the human resources, legal and permits committee.”
However, Zimparks did not implement the board resolutions for the past two years courting the ire of middle managers who accused senior management of seeking to line their own pockets.
The situation created a poisonous working environment at the authority with everything being done with contempt as morale was reported to be at an all-time low.
The matter spilled into the Labour Court and is at conciliation stage after having been set down for hearing on January 15.
However, Zimparks asked for the matter to be postponed to February 19 to give it time to negotiate with managers, but had not done so until now.
Efforts to get a comment from Zimparks public relations manager Caroline Washaya-Moyo were fruitless.