OVER 350 workers have been thrown out on the streets after the South African furniture chain shops, Home Corp Zambia and FURNMART Limited closed business as they prepare their exit out of Zambia. It is not clear why the company is leaving when more South African chains are opening new outlets in Zambia. The workers have expressed concern that they have not been given any guarantee of receiving their dues once the South African company leaves, although they have been promised to be paid at the end of next month. One of the affected employees complained that the company has since engaged external security at the premises at Manda Hill and the sister company FURNMART operating as Home Corps in other towns across the country. “They have said they will give us our terminal benefits by November monthend, but our fear is that Home Corp have already put external security at their premises including the warehouse, which means they could be leaving anytime, maybe even before they pay us our dues,” he said. He said the company management have complained of high rentals paid in US dollars which have become too high for the business with the soaring exchange rate against the Kwacha. He explained that they have attributed the unfavourable economy and the high cost of doing business in Zambia as some of the grounds for their being forced out of business. And New Revolution Party (NRP) president Cozmo Mumba has called on international investors to help the Government build the Zambian economy. Dr Mumba said the Government was aware of the harsh business conditions, but that it was working to make the cost of business affordable. “Government is already doing something to improve the economy and make doing business favourable for the running of the economy for the investor and the Zambian people. “My appeal to the workers at both Home Corp and FURNMATT Limited is that they should remain calm as Government looks into their situation, but at the same time call on the authorities to come up with monitoring mechanisms to check on the performance of investor companies to avoid leaving many Zambians stranded after their closure,” he said.