NRZ pensioners live in shacks

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NATIONAL Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) pensioners are living in shacks since they were booted out of the parastatal’ premises in August, but they are vowing to stay put until their dues are paid.

BENSON DUBE
OWN CORRESPONDENT

NRZ gave ownership to occupants of the houses it owned in various locations around the country in 1999.

Those who were resident in camps that include Westgate, were not given ownership, but were promised money, ranging from $15 000 to $39 000 depending on one’s grade.

NRZ and the unions representing workers made these possible by engaging the government and a bill was passed in Parliament.

However, employees who occupied houses at the camp started to retire in 2005 and did not have problems of eviction until August, when 18 families were booted out of the houses they occupied without receiving their promised dues.

To date their property is in the open and they are vowing never to leave the camp until they are paid their dues or given alternative accommodation.

Some of the affected pensioners are of Malawian, Zambian and Mozambican descent.

Kenneth Ncube, who worked as a security guard for 40 years and retired in 2005, blamed management for their woes.

“Today I am living in a shack because of people who did not do proper management,” he alleged.

“All those who were staying out of the camp benefited and we were happy to hear that we were to receive money since we were in the camp.

“We waited until we went to courts. I have been sleeping in the open since I was evicted from the house I had been staying in for over 40 years.

“The rains are imminent and the property I worked for, for years will perish because of poor administration.

“I have made this shack to put my head in and I requested good Samaritans to accommodate my school going nephews and as you can see there is nowhere to bath.”

Another former employee, Annellia Matope said her husband was employed as a security guard and retired in 2009.

“When you worked for NRZ you had a right to benefit from the house you occupied, but for my husband it was different. So we were promised money and that is the money we thought was going to give us accommodation and not staying in a shack,” she said.

“We will turn this into a squatter camp until the government realises its mistake.

“The government seems to be quiet about our plight. An official from Mhlahlandlela came to look into our issue, but never returned, the same with the Bulawayo United Residents’ Association.

“When you look at us, do not think we are mad, it is because of the useless management running the NRZ.”
NRZ acting general manager Lewis Makwada had at the time defended the evictions saying the pensioners had been given enough time to find alternative accommodation.

2 COMMENTS

  1. This oppressive organization is never for the development of the country. Management is ever happy whenever staff or pensioners are aggrieved. They created this disparity and do not want to solve it now. Some of the current security members have two differnt houses yet they chuck out people they owe monies, they are silly and sickening indeed.

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