The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has decided to lay off 1,600 staff in a long-awaited retrenchment program, the state-controlled Herald newspaper reported Tuesday, citing testimony by RBZ Governor Gideon Gono to Parliament's finance committee.
The paper said Gono disclosed the estimatged cost of the exercise and indicated that the RBZ board had slashed exit packages demanded by staff. Sources said the central bank, which owes millions to creditors, cannot afford severance packages.
The central bank will retain approximately 530 staff when the cutbacks are completed.
Most of those slated for redundancy are said to be functionaries of the former ruling ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe engaged when the bank was funding and managing various government programs between 2003 and 2008.
Neither Gono nor RBZ board members could be reached for comment.
Economic commentator Rejoice Ngwenya in Harare said the central bank is not in a position to cushion the shock for its workers as they are let go.
VOA reported in June that senior managers on their way out were grabbing vehicles and office equipment, knowing the bank could not afford severance packages. Lower-level workers took the matter to court to in a bid to ensure they were compensated.