National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) general manager Mike Karakadzai yesterday declined to meet his employees’ wives after they picketed his office demanding payment of their husbands’ outstanding salaries.
Gideon Shoko, secretary-general of the Zimbabwe Railway Workers’ Union, told NewsDay Karakadzai had declined to meet the group saying he had no contractual obligation to discuss company matters with them.
“I talked to Karakadzai late yesterday (Monday). He refused to meet the women saying they are not NRZ employees. He said only the employees can have a meeting with him. The women were here in the morning (yesterday). I told them that, and that was the end of it,” said Shoko.
NRZ spokesperson Fanuel Masikati yesterday confirmed his boss had refused to meet the women.
On Monday a group of disgruntled women claiming to be NRZ workers’ wives stormed the parastatal’s headquarters in Bulawayo demanding salaries of their husbands for the past three months. They demanded audience with Karakadzai, but the parastatal’s security barred them from entering the building. They were instead advised a meeting would be organised for them the following morning.
After they were denied entry, the women got agitated and immediately chanted songs denouncing Karakadzai and demanding his removal from the helm of the parastatal.
They accused him of running down the NRZ and fuelling poverty among workers’ families.
Yesterday morning police in anti-riot gear camped at the NRZ entrance in anticipation of violence. Police later dispersed after the women left the premises without incident.