Ex-workers besiege RBZ

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A group of about 50 former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) workers picketed the central bank’s offices along Samora Machel Avenue in Harare Friday demanding payment of their outstanding severance packages.

However, before they could secure audience with their former boss, Gideon Gono, riot police armed with batons and truncheons stormed the entrance to the office and dispersed the group.

The group was part of the more than 1 400 laid off by the RBZ in January.

They told NewsDay the RBZ promised to pay them by March 31, but they failed to get the money, which is why they decided to confront Gono for an explanation.

“We are just here for our money. The governor signed and they said they were to give us our money on March 31, and that was yesterday (Thursday), but there was no money in our bank accounts Thursday and today (Friday),” said one ex-employee.

Gono admitted yesterday there was a misunderstanding with the former workers and said the retrenched employees’ money had been transferred into their bank accounts Friday and that they could withdraw their funds.

“The retrenched workers thought they would get cash but this time we have paid into their bank accounts. It’s simply that their money was transferred today (Friday) into their accounts,” said Gono.

“Treasury released some money to us today which was in line with their earlier promises so we have since transferred the money into their accounts. We have already sent a memo advising on the money for the retrenchees which they should start withdrawing their money by tomorrow (today).” On the presence of the police at the central bank and their removal of the disgrantled retrencheesGono said the RBZ was a national institution which required protection at all times.