Transport Minister says NRZ has no money to pay workers unpaid for 11 months


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Transport Minister Obert Mpofu has admitted that the National Railways of Zimbabwe, once one of the nation’s biggest employers, has no money to pay its workers who are owed 11 months’ salary.

“The NRZ has no money right now to address the requests put forward by the employees. When I took over as minister of transport, there was a resolution by the previous board to retrench half the staff at the NRZ and I resisted because I was hoping that we would have come up with a solution by now,”Mpofu told NRZ workers who went on strike last week.

“The ultimate solution lies with getting an investor to capitalise and rehabilitate NRZ, which is what government is working on now. We’ve been engaging a number of serious investors that are interested such as Chinese companies and the (Development Bank of Southern Africa) DBSA but this is a process. We can’t get an investor today and things start moving tomorrow,” he was quoted by The Chronicle as saying.

“I want to assure the NRZ employees that government is doing everything it can to address these challenges. It’s not only NRZ (that needs attention) but actually the entire Bulawayo economy itself.

“As I’ve always said, the Bulawayo economy is influenced by how the NRZ performs because of its employment force of over 20,000 workers. It’s unfortunate that it will take a bit of time for the NRZ to be back on its feet.

“I hope that the management and board will deal with the situation and come up with an amicable conclusion as we make efforts to identify a suitable partner to revive the railway system,” Mpofu said.

(196 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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