NewsDay reports that the rehabilitation of Mbare flats is proving to be only a gesture meant to hoodwink people after the company contracted by the government and the Harare City Council to do the rehabilitation, FCG Singapore, ceased operations a month ago.
We ceased painting in mid-May, there is no any activity here. There are no buckets of paint for us to use. The government is being deceived. Officials are sitting there in their offices thinking work is going on, but we are spending the whole day seated. There is no progress.
There are concerns over the possibility of exploitation after workers reported that they were owed their money and that they were made to work without protective clothing. Speaking to the NewsDay, FCG Singapore chairperson Gabrielle Arezio said:
I am following up on that matter. We were instructed to work on the plumbing systems. When the President visited Matapi Flats, he told us to repair the toilets and the bathrooms. These are in a bad state. We are currently sourcing materials. After that, we will continue with the exterior and interior paintings.
FCG managing director Francis Mambo dismissed allegations that workers had gone for months without salaries. He said:
Everyone was paid for all these months, except for one month, which is May. People must also consider that it is charity work that we are doing and some companies do not pay for such, but we are paying.