Transport and Infrastructural Development minister Obert Mpofu says he met with the Development Bank of Southern Africa in Harare Wednesday to finalise plans to resuscitate the National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ), which is battling to boost its production and pay 11-months of outstanding salaries to its workers.
NRZ workers recently went on strike demanding their salaries, but the government says the ultimate solution lies in getting an investor to recapitalize and rehabilitate the parastatal.
Mpofu says NRZ is the backbone of the Bulawayo economy, which is influenced by how the parastatal performs because of its employment capacity of more than 20 000 workers.
The parastatal now employs only between 5,000 and 7,000 workers.
Mpofu says focus will be on rebuilding the railway line system, rolling stocks, and signals, which will enable the NRZ to boost its production and employ more workers.
Secretary General of the Zimbabwe Amalgamated Railway Workers Union Kenneth Nhemachena says the government should settle the workers’ outstanding salaries while implementing its developmental plans to boost their morale.