National Railways of Zimbabwe plans to lay off 2 000 workers to maintain a manageable workforce

National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) is set to retrench nearly 50% of its workforce in a move board chairman Larry Mavhima said was aimed at stopping the bleeding at the parastatal.

Mavhima said the job cuts would allow the stricken parastatal to maintain a manageable workforce for operational efficiencies.

“We are looking at our current operating efficiencies, look at the volume of traffic that we are carrying and look at the number of employees in relation to the revenue that we are generating and we are saying we have too many employees for the traffic that we are moving so as the NRZ we want to stop the bleeding,” Mavhima said.

NRZ said throwing its workers into the streets was not the ideal move, but, while the company seeks to capitalise and turn around its fortunes, difficult decisions have to be made.

“We have to bite the bullet, take the bitter pill to ensure that the financial bleeding caused by a huge wage bill against the revenue inflows is stopped,” Mavhima said.

The broke parastatal, has since turned to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) and Finance ministry to get funding for the retrenchment process which could cost close to $100 million.

Workers who will be retrenched were also owed nearly $98 million in salaries and wages arrears and will have to be paid retrenchment packages on top of the outstanding salaries.

“We have approached the Finance ministry and RBZ to see if the can assist us to raise the required funding that will enable us to cut as many as 1 500 to 2 000 jobs so that the organisation can survive,” he said.

NRZ is looking for close to $700 million to recapitalise, refurbish the railway track and locomotives some of which need to be replaced in an effort to turnaround the fortunes of the company.

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