THE Zimbabwe National Water Authority (Zinwa) has ordered employees above 55 years of age to take early retirement as the quasi-government department moves to reduce its wage bill.
The programme, which started last month, has received mixed reactions from the 300 affected employees with some claiming victimisation after they were summarily ordered to stop reporting for duty as they were already above 55 years.
Zinwa spokesperson Marjorie Munyonga confirmed the development yesterday.
“As such, we advise that the exercise of early retirement of Zinwa employees was in accordance with the conditions of service of employees. The process was done within the confines of these conditions hence there are no legal challenges faced as alluded to in your email,” Munyonga said in a written response.
She added: “Please note that the exercise is still under consideration and a detailed statement with the information requested can only be issued when completed.”
However, close sources within the authority said some of the employees had threatened taking legal action citing unfair labour practices.
“The authority then wrote us a second letter specifying that starting April the institution was giving us a three months’ notice that we would be retired end of June 2015,” a source said.
Zinwa has in the last couple of years been struggling to pay its employees. Meanwhile, the organisation is still hunting for a new chief executive officer following the retirement of Albert Muyambo late last year.
NewsDay understands that interviews for the vacancy have since been held and the names of successful candidates were sent to the Ministry of Environment, Water and Climate for approval before appointment.