Over twenty staff employed by DAO Marble Africa Limited are stranded in Moroto after the disappearance of the top management of the company at the marble mining site. In 2012, government licensed DAO Marble Africa Limited to explore the availability of marble and later process it. In February 2014, DAO Marble secured a Mining Lease of 21 years from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development.
In 2012, government licensed DAO Marble Africa Limited to explore the availability of marble and later process it. In February 2014, DAO Marble secured a Mining Lease of 21 years from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development.
The workers have spent months without any pay and the company owes them millions of shillings.
James Lomeri, one of the workers trained in machine operations says the company has not paid salaries from November 2016. Lomeri is among the group of youth initially employed by DAO Marble Africa Limited but decided to quit the job over non-payment in November 2015. He rejoined DAO in April 2016 after the company made some payments.
According to Lomeri, DAO Marble top management tried to improve on payment of salaries during the second engagement for a few months until September 2016. He observes that their salaries started delaying which forced management to give them half pay after some months.
Thomas Awas, another employee told URN that after spending nine months without pay, he decided to withdraw. Like any other local employee, Awas was supposed to receive 560,000 shillings per month.
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Another employee at the level of field logistics officer has given up with the company after spending fifteen months without pay. Hafiph Mwenyi was supposed to earn about 1.2 million shillings after joining the company November 2013. He however had to leave a frustrated man in September 2015.
Mwenyi claims that his several attempts to have the money paid have been frustrated by DAO top management.
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DAO woes are not only with the staff but even community in Rata and business community in Moroto town.
Margaret Awas Lokii, the assistant manager Mt Moroto Hotel says DAO Marble owes the hotel 38 million shillings accrued from accommodation. She notes that several attempts including court action have not yielded any good results.
Another businessman in Moroto, Omar Said, demands 37 million shillings from DAO for food and water consumed over the years. He says the bill had accumulated up to 111 million shillings but the company paid 87 million shillings. There are business proprietors in Moroto who have given up, according to Hafiph Mwenyi.
Around December 2015, the labour office in Moroto recorded complaints of non-payment of staff salaries against DAO Marble amounting to over 873 million shillings for both locals and Egyptian nationals. The money accumulated between 2013 and 2015. Twenty five local workers were demanding 87.2 million shillings while 18 Egyptians, who were later deported, demanded 786.2 million shillings.
However, Edson Turyamoe, the Moroto district police commander, says the monies were paid to the respective complainants. He notes that the new complaints of non-payment have not been formerly recorded in police much as he is informed.
Apollo Manjori, the Rupa sub county chairperson, says DAO issues are complex and require redrawing the engagement with the community and local leaders.
When contacted, Andrew Mukibi, one of the shareholders and top management officials of DAO Marble declined to comment.
Recently, security cordoned off DAO Marble site following the fact-finding mission by DFCU Bank that is said to have funded the company to operate. The site is still being guarded by the UPDF soldiers and a private security firm only identified as SGA Security Group.