Insolvent and beset by creditors, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe is moving to cut back its bloated staff by some 1,500 employees. The central bank has long been considered overstaffed and the International Monetary Fund has recommended the institution be scaled back to focus on its core monetary responsibilities.
Sources said the central bank will retain only 500 of its staff of 2,000. Many bank staff are said to be ZANU-PF party members who ran so-called quasi-fiscal programs funding farm mechanization and other activities.
Sources said top managers on their way out have grabbed vehicles and office equipment, knowing the bank cannot afford severance packages. Lower-level workers are planning court action to seek compensation.
Economist John Robertson said the staff cutbacks could be costly for the RBZ. “The retrenchment packages that they are going to pay these workers might be extremely punishing and damaging amount of money.”
Air Zimbabwe, meanwhile, was said to be close to collapse with operating losses over US$2 million a month.
Air Zimbabwe General Manager Peter Chikumba told a Parliamentary committee on communication and infrastructure this week that the long-troubled airline needs a strategic partner to survive.
Economist Eric Bloch said the government should privatize the state-controlled carrier.