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Former RBZ workers petition DPM


FORMER Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) workers have written to Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara asking him to intervene following the failure by the central bank to pay retrenchment packages as promised.

Business Reporter

The RBZ last year laid off close to 1 500 employees as it began streamlining its quasi fiscal operations.

According to a letter seen by NewsDay, the former central bank workers want Mutambara to engage fellow inclusive government principals, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe, on the matter.

“The failure of the RBZ to pay the retrenchees their packages in accordance with the agreed payment plan marked the beginning of the retrenchees’ plight, which is now deteriorating into a typical humanitarian crisis,” the letter reads in part.

“Under the circumstances, the retrenchees were thus incapacitated from implementing their intended projects that would have sustained the livelihoods of their families post the retrenchment exercise.”

The former employees said the retrenchment window offered an opportunity for cost-free capital for the retrenchments to embark on various individual projects that they intend to implement, in tandem with their full package entitlements.

“This has, however, not come to be as the RBZ failed to stick to the agreed payment plan, while at the same time terminating essential benefits to the retrenches,” the employees said.

The retrenchees query why the central bank had failed to honour its end of the bargain despite having disposed its stake in TPH and in the process raising $9,7 million.

“Assuming the bank had used the $9, 7 million raised from TPH to pay the retrenchees, it would have resulted in each of us getting $7 000, with some retrenchees being paid off altogether,” reads part of the letter.

The formation of an inclusive government in 2009, whose aim among many was to rope in runaway inflation, forced the central bank to streamline its fiscal operations to focus more on activities in tandem with the obtaining environment.

Last month, the Labour Court ordered the RBZ to pay school fees for its retrenched employees.

The former workers said their situation was now a humanitarian issue.
Efforts to get comments from Mutambara and the RBZ were in vain at the time of going to press yesterday.

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