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Zimbabwe Bank Attempting to Seize Loan Defaulters' Property

Zimbabwe Banking and Allied Workers Union (ZIBAWU) on Monday appealed to the Atlas Mara-owned BancAbc board to reverse the bank management’s decision to force retrenched workers to pay up their outstanding loans or have their properties attached.

The retrenches and ZIBAWU members demonstrated outside the bank at its Mt. Pleasant headquarters in Harare.

The former BancABC workers, who were laid off following a Supreme Court ruling last year allowing employers to fire workers on three months’ notice, said their retrenchment package were not enough and the bank had now deviated from the agreed offer of one month’s salary for every year served.

Instead, they said, the bank paid two weeks’ salary for every year served. As a result the former workers said the retrenchment packages were far less than their loan obligations to the bank thereby leaving them in huge debts.

Paul Mudzadza a former bank employer said some of them got as little as $1,000 when they had loans of more than $10,000.

ZIBAWO president, Farai Katsande, who presented the workers’ petition to the bank management, said the bank must reverse its decision and fairly compensate affected workers.

He said the bank must stop demanding payment of the outstanding staff loans and attaching properties until a reasonable and fair retrenchment package is agreed.

Katsande said ZIBAWU and the affected workers would be picketing at the bank’s headquarters every Monday until the bank re-opens negotiations with the workers.

The former workers are irked by the bank’s failure to compensate them fairly when it’s sponsoring football and donating money to youth empowerment. The bank sponsors the country’s major soccer teams, Dynamos and Highlanders.

BancABC chief executive officer, Joe Sibanda, could not be reached for comment.

BancABC fired 75 workers following a Supreme Court ruling which allowed employers to fire workers by giving them a short notice to terminate their jobs.

Labour unions say more than 20,000 workers have lost their jobs since the ruling.

Report on Bankers Strike Filed By Irwin Chifera
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