Diana Nherera Herald Reporter
There is need for a holistic approach to address the backlog in salary payments at the National Railways of Zimbabwe where workers are owed more than $45 million, a Cabinet minister has said. Transport and Infrastructural Development Minister Dr Obert Mpofu told Parliament last week that the NRZ was of great concern to Government.
He said it was important that an investor was found for recapitalisation, to address challenges faced by the railway company.
Dr Mpofu was responding to a question from Gokwe South legislator Cde Dorothy Mangami (Zanu-PF) on the ministry’s plans for salary payments for NRZ workers who have gone for more than 10 months without being paid full salaries.
“The current state at National Railways of Zimbabwe is due to a decline in business and also because of vandalism of infrastructure,” he said.
“There is need for recapitalisation of the company in order to address the challenges faced by the NRZ.”
Dr Mpofu, however, pointed out that NRZ staff had not gone completely without being paid as the lowest paid workers were getting 75 percent of their salaries, while the top brass received 50 percent.
He urged NRZ management and labour unions to end the deadlock between workers and the parastatal, which had also resulted in the matter being referred for arbitration.
“I have told the workers’ union that we need to work together and create a common ground and my ministry continues to monitor the situation at NRZ,” said Dr Mpofu.
“We want a holistic solution to the issue which does not end with the retrenchment of workers, but the rehabilitation of the parastatal.”
NRZ workers have been on strike since last month over outstanding salaries and allowances.