Mwana Africa fires executives, consultants in shake-up

Mwana Africa fires executives, consultants in shake-up

HARARE, July 10 (The Source) – Fresh from dismissing founding chief executive Kalaa Mpinga last month, resources group Mwana Africa has fired several staff, including consultants with more to come in a shake-up the company says is designed to lower overhead costs and change its working culture.

Mpinga left the company he founded on June 10, a day after a crunch extraordinary general meeting which ousted his allies on the board, South Africans Stuart Morris and Johan Botha and Zimbabweans Ngoni Kudenga and Herbert Mashanyare.

They were replaced by Scott Morrison, Mark Wellesley-Wood, Oliver Barbeau and Anne-Marie Chidzero while majority shareholder, China International Mining Group Corporation (CIMGC)’s chairman Yat Hoi Ning took over as executive chairman.

On Thursday, the company said it had made 12 positions redundant, including a senior manager, expatriates and corporate office staff and reduced the number of advisers and consultants.

The hiring of consultants and advisers were among the causes of sharp differences between Mpinga and the Chinese shareholders, who opposed the contracting of a South African company and a local metallurgist to spearhead the restart of the smelting complex, opting for Chinese firms.

The company said the dismissals were meant to reduce costs, re-organise the group’s corporate structure and  culture under Ning.

“Shareholders voted for change at the EGM and with the help of our new directors this process is now well underway. We expect that our restructuring will take a couple of months as we address a number of legacy issues,” Ning said in an update.

“Our management team is focusing on reducing costs to mitigate the impact of the current weak pricing environment for gold and nickel, but I am confident that we can deliver a stable platform upon which to build a new, and stronger corporate culture.”

He maintained that the dismissals will not affect  the company’s subsidiaries.

Mwana is also looking to appoint a new advisor after Peel Hunt quit in the aftermath of the EGM.

The group has operations in Zimbabwe, South Africa, DRC, Angola and Botswana. Its operating subsidiaries, however are predominantly in Zimbabwe — Freda Rebecca Gold Mine and Bindura Nickel Corporation — with its Klipspringer Diamond Mine in South Africa yet to take off.