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Unpaid Former NRZ Workers Vow to Stay Put in Company Houses

FILE: Some workers of the National Railways of Zimbabwe staging a peaceful protest in the country's largest city, Bulawayo.

Attempts by National Railways of Zimbabwe to evict some of the 600 former employees the parastatal sacked in July following a Supreme Court ruling allowing employers to fire workers on three months’ notice, have hit a brick wall with the workers demanding their outstanding dues first.

The workers told Studio 7 the NRZ had promised to pay them their three months’ notice pay by end of this month but that did not happen.

Instead they got the shock of their lives when the company tried to evict them from company-owned houses this week saying they were no longer NRZ employees.

Linda Masarira, a former workers committee chairperson in Mutare, said they are urging all workers to stay put until the company pays them their dues.

Another former NRZ employee, Mendy Sengu, a mother of four, said she can only move once she gets her outstanding payments from the parastatal.

The workers also told Studio 7 following their meeting with senior company officials in Harare that it was not clear when they will get their money.

Besides the three months’ notice pay, they are also owed 12 months' salaries and other part payments. The workers did not get full salaries for more than 25 months before they were sacked.

Masarira said they will confront the company’s top executives in Bulawayo on Monday.

Company acting general manager, Luis Mkwada, was not available for comment while human resources manager Gilbert Ndhlovu was not answering his mobile phone.

Though the management has said the company has no money, investigations by Studio 7 show that top executives are getting tax free allowances ranging from $3,000 to $6,000 per month.