Home » Governance » NRZ Union Leaders Fired As Broke Parastatal Accused of Harassing Union Bosses to Silence Workers

THE National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) has fired three workers union leaders based at its Mutare branch for allegedly absconding duty since April 27 this year.

NRZ has not paid workers for nearly a year but still expects them to report for duty.

The fired officials include Railways Artisans Union (RAU) Branch Chairperson Fairflex Denhere, RAU secretary Patrick Muchofia and Zimbabwe Amalgamated Railways Workers Union (ZARWU) secretary Malvern Mutumbi.

The three were also accused of reporting for duty late and dismissing early.

In their defence, the workers said they spent an hour walking to work in the morning and were also leaving one hour earlier in the afternoon to enable them to walk home since they have not been paid for 11 months.

Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) Eastern Region board member, Tenson Chirenda, said the accusations against the trio were baseless since every NRZ worker has been on strike.

He said if the three were guilt and then all NRZ employees must be dismissed.

“They are just trying to silence workers by targeting their leaders. If it’s the case then all NRZ employees are guilty of this same alleged offence.

“This was a legally approved industrial action nationwide,” Chirenda said.

He added that the “dismissal was not done procedurally and should therefore be dismissed as a legal nullity.

“There is a procedure clearly defined by law that a person should have been brought before a disciplinary hearing.

“The employer is approaching the issue in bad faith because NRZ employees were on demonstration for non-payment of their salaries.”

Chirenda said a dismissal letter signed by the Regional Area Manager, one Mupondi, also closed internal avenues for appeal, leaving the workers with no choice but to approach the Labour Court.

Efforts to get comment from NRZ spokesperson, Fanuel Masikati, were unsuccessful as his mobile phone was unreachable.

Source : New Zimbabwe