The Intel Behind Liquid Telecom Exodus

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Last week we reported about the recent exodus which took place at Liquid with quite a number of technicians crossing over to Huawei South Africa. We later followed on the story in a bid to expose what really transpired behind the scenes.

By The Ancestors

“Wellington Makamure called the Head of Huawei South Africa trying to block our move. He told the management that we were still contracted to Liquid yet we had tendered our resignations through the correct channels. Upon orientation, the Head of Human Resources of Huawei SA told us they were no longer in a position to keep the pre-signed contractual obligations as they had started reviewing their business relations with Liquid.”

 

 

He further added that Huawei were about to ship them back to Zimbabwe where they will obviously return to find an axe waiting for them. It was a move plotted to punish everyone who had resigned to move to Huawei. With Huawei still recruiting, the management is believed to have tightened the leash on the remaining staff by promising to fire anyone caught attending interviews.

Stranded between two hard rocks, one of the engineers later called home to a senior manager at Liquid who later called Huawei to clear the technicians to join them. These engineers had no kind words for Wellington Makamure as they accused their former boss for using a harsh managerial style on his subordinates. To make matters worse, Makamure and his team had no right to block these technicians from progressing to their next career goals.

Liquid Telecom Logo

Liquid Telecom Group

After intense investigations on this matter, we also discovered that these engineers were neither given mortgages nor any company loans hence giving the Liquid management no right to invoke unfounded reservations on these engineers. It’s a general practice across the globe that employees come and go due to personal careers goals set by individuals.

If we are to put management theories in practice, Taylor’s scientific management theory clearly outlines that if employees were to be treated with respect, well-resourced and remunerated according to output, they would be motivated to work harder resulting in organizations making more profits. Well, in this case it seems Makamure’s team is applying McGregor’s Theory X of coercion which resulted in an untimely exodus.

Furthermore, we can never run away from the issue of remuneration when it comes to losing employees. If someone is offered a better salary package elsewhere, then its 99,9% definite to see that employee leaving. If Liquid did not want to see those engineers leaving, then the management should have tied them down with irresistible salaries.

However one engineer clearly defended his crossover to Huawei saying it was not a financially motivated move but rather left Liquid in search of better working conditions. He said he was paid well but the environment was not favorable as most employees worked under duress. He informed us Makamure once fired an engineer for finding him sleeping at lunchtime. To make matters worse, the director brags about firing people whenever he wishes.

Fiber Optic Technicians

Fiber Optic Technicians trenching cables

Wellington Makamure is not a stranger to controversy as he once fired hundreds of employees between 2004-2007 during his stint with TelOne. He once caused a boardroom haywire after he announced his decision to trim the number of executives reporting to the CEO from thirteen to three. If you want to survive at Liquid Telecom, then its good you understand Mr Makamure is a no nonsense taker!!

However, it is also good for organizations to start adopting modern managerial practices to promote continuity and staff confidence. Despite Zimbabwe being one of the countries habiting desperate job seekers, it is very much against our labor laws for one to take advantage of this vulnerability when running an organization. We advocate for fair labor laws that will drive our economy forward rather than dragging it back to the doldrums.

Nothing against Mr Wellington Makamure but with him holding such an influential position at one of SADC’s biggest ISP’s, then we really need him to incorporate management policies that help Zimbabwe to retain its skilled workforce. We can no longer stand the pain of losing our skilled workforce to the diaspora where they just go and enrich foreign economies to our detriment.

Marvelous Chibagidhi

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