OVER 200 former Zimbabwe United Passengers Company (Zupco) workers have threatened to stage a three-day vigil at the parastatal’s Khami depot in Bulawayo this week in protest over unpaid severance packages.
BY SILAS NKALA
The workers, whose demonstration is scheduled to run from today until Wednesday, claimed they were owed various amounts of money in salaries and pensions since they were laid off between 1982 and 2010.
Police in Bulawayo have cleared the planned demonstration.
A police clearance letter dated May 22 signed by a Superintendent J Sibanda, acting Officer Commanding Bulawayo West District read: “This office acknowledges the sit-in subject to the following conditions: That the sit-in be held between the stipulated time, that no thorough fare or public place should be blocked or obstructed in any manner, that the smooth flow of traffic shall not be disrupted. The convener to provide own marshals to maintain order and there should be no disruption of operations of the company. No derogatory or inflammatory statements will be made during the sit-in. Ensure that participants do not throw any articles at persons, motor vehicles and buildings. Toyi-toying before, during and after the sit in will not be allowed.”
In an application letter to police, dated May 10, the former workers’ chairperson Lucas Munyika said he represented 215 former Zupco employees whose contracts were terminated at different intervals between 1982 and 2010.
“Zupco defrauded pensioners by deducting and not remitting some of our pension dues to Fidelity Life Pensions Fund for the period 2006 to 2010. This has a negative effect to pensioners because Fidelity Life is refusing to pay us our pensions until Zupco has paid over $3,5 million it owes the Pension Fund as per end of 2015. This has also affected those pensioners who had all their dues forwarded to Fidelity Life before 2005. This $3,5m is ever growing because of interest accruals,” Munyika said.
He said some members have since died and their families were struggling to access their benefits.
Zupco management could not be reached for comment yesterday.