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Obey Manayiti, Mthandazo Nyoni & Benson Dube
06 Aug 2015 12:28
President Robert Mugabe has criticised the job losses. (Reuters)
According to reports, 18 000 workers have been fired in less than three weeks after a landmark ruling by the Supreme Court last month in a case between Zuva
Petroleum and its former managers.
The effect of the ruling is that employers are now retrenching workers and not providing them with benefits.
By Wednesday, five parastatals had sent thousands of their workers home, citing the court ruling. These include National Railways of
Zimbabwe (350 workers), Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (309), Air Zimbabwe
(100), CMED (200) and Grain Marketing Board (400).
Part of the
termination letter sent to GMB workers read: “The GMB has decided to exercise
its right in terms of the common law to terminate your contract of employment
with GMB on three months’ notice.
Consequently, you are no longer
required to come to work with effect from August 5 2015.”
The letter was signed by GMB’s deputy general manager for human
resources Sibongile Muchirahondo.
Sources said 400 GMB workers, mostly from Bulawayo, had been
affected by the job cuts amid reports that the parastatal was targeting 1 500
President Robert Mugabe has criticised the job losses.
The Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), a government body,
says it received a government directive to trim its workforce using the
same law that has seen workers being dismissed without benefits.
ZTA chief executive Karikoga Kaseke told NewsDay on Tuesday
that: “It’s something coming to us.
Tourism minister Walter Mzembi and
acting information minister Prisca Mupfumira were not available for comment. Labour ministry permanent secretary Ngoni Masoka said he
could not comment because he was not in the office.
“I am out of office, but you can phone our offices and talk
to acting secretary Marimba or the legal officer Sibiya,” he said. Both
officials could also not be reached for comment.
Mupfumira, who doubles as labour minister, has been on
record over the past week as saying government was seeking ways to stop the job
losses triggered by the court ruling.
Zanu-PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo said amendments would
soon be made to stop the firing of workers.
“Cabinet last week approved the labour law amendment, which
seeks to protect the workers as well as the employer.
“The [Zanu-PF] politburo received a full briefing on the
issue and now awaits the Bill to be tabled in Parliament,” he said.
PopulistPolitical analyst Takura Zhangazha said government
was being populist in the manner it was handling the matter.
“The government is essentially talking about civil servants
and does not view those that work for parastatals as such,” he said.
“It, is however, being populist in seeking to claim it does
not fire its workers when the minister of finance [Patrick Chinamasa] has
already announced an intention to downsize the civil service in keeping with
the staff-monitored programme of the IMF [International Monetary Fund].”
Zhangazha said under these circumstances, even the jobs of civil
servants were not safe.
Opposition MDC-T spokesperson Obert Gutu accused the Zanu-PF
government of using deceptive language.
“The Zanu-PF regime is notorious for doublespeak. They
always indicate right, but almost, invariably, they always turn left. This
regime is a curse on the people of Zimbabwe,” he said.
“This regime doesn’t care one iota about the suffering of
the ordinary person.
“Zimbabwe is under the yoke of a fully-fledged kleptocracy;
a renegade, fascist regime that only cares about one thing, that is its hold on
Meanwhile, primary and secondary education minister Lazarus
Dokora confirmed that his office had been inundated with teachers who had not
received their July salaries.
He said his ministry was referring the teachers to the
“The question of salaries is a dialogue between the workers
and the employers. They are deployed to work in my ministry by the employer,”
“The question of salaries is a dialogue that you do with the
“That engagement is ongoing between the two ministries and
the [civil service] commission. That is an ongoing engagement and I am glad
that you said they did not receive their salaries and not that they were
The government says the over 3 000 teachers who did not
receive their salaries last month had not been found at their workstations
during a recent headcount as part of efforts to weed out ghost workers.
An audit carried out during the inclusive government era
showed that there were at least 75 000 ghost workers in the civil service. -
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