Struggling NRZ awards chefs $70 000 in fees allowances

TOP managers at the financially-struggling National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) have allegedly claimed about $70 000 as allowances for their children’s school fees at a time shop floor workers have gone for about a year without salaries.

BY NQOBANI NDLOVU

Documents at hand indicate that the NRZ’s top 17 managers awarded themselves varying amounts totaling $69 777, as part of their school fees benefits.

The non-recurring earnings document Type 26 from NRZ dated January 11, 2016, shows that the top five executives at the parastatal got $25 474, while 10 line managers received varying amounts totalling $44 303 as allowances for fees.

This follows reports that the NRZ managers have been getting between 70% and 85% of their salaries as of December last year, while the majority of workers go without pay.

NRZZ

NRZ finance director Frank Bhule yesterday dismissed the allegations as mischievous, before accusing “disgruntled” workers of “doing all sorts of things to discredit the parastatal’s management”.

“I dismiss the allegations outright,” he said.

“Someone out there is being mischievous. When workers are disgruntled, they can do anything to discredit management.”

Bhule, however, contradicted himself after admitting that the NRZ management got the school fees allowances in December and not in January as earlier claimed.

“Such payments are normally made in December and the figures vary according to certain schools. The payments were not made in January,” he said without elaborating.

Reports indicate NRZ management has not reduced its salaries in line with a Cabinet directive that capped pay for heads of parastatals.

Last year, NRZ fired over 400 employees, taking advantage of the July 17, 2015, Supreme Court ruling allowing employers to terminate workers’ contracts on three months’ notice, but the retrenchees are yet to receive their terminal benefits.

The fired workers, who have since formed an organisation called Association of Railways Terminated Employees (ARTE), recently staged protests demanding their monies.

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