RBZ workers to lose jobs in shake-up

bitiThe Finance Miniser Tendai Biti (pictured) says up to 2,200 workers at the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe will lose their jobs as part of plans to cut its expenditure and get it functioning effectively, according to media reports.

On Sunday it was reported that the Minister said the bank will have to make 85% staff cuts leaving the institution with 400 out of 2,600 workers.

Under Governor Gideon Gono the bank took out loans it could not afford and failed to pay local and foreign companies tens of millions of dollars. It also failed to pay workers and was dragged to court for rent arrears. In June Zimbabweans were forced to take on the burden of the RBZ debt, reported to be US$1.1bn, after Robert Mugabe used his presidential powers to shift the banks liabilities onto the state. Gonos decision to continuously print money also created an inflation rate that reached into the billions and the situation was only stabilized when the country had no choice but to get rid of the use of the Zimbabwe dollar.

Despite the good news that the Minister is trying to bring some sanity back to the controversial central bank, an analyst says RBZ workers facing the axe must get retrenchmet packages because they should not have to suffer for the gross mistakes of their boss, Gideon Gono.

Economic commentator Masimba Kuchera said: The workers should be able to get a package in their retrenchment. I dont think it will be proper, legal and even moral to chase away a worker. They should get some form of package for them to start something else. If anything, workers should not be punished for Gideon Gonos sins.

Kuchera added that under Gono, the national institution was also used to prop up ZANU PF. One of the ways ZANU PF survived was through using institutions like the RBZ to do some of the work they couldnt do because they did not have resources. The RBZ printed the money, he said, Where have you seen a bank that embarks on a programme to give basic commodities flour and mealie meal to people in the rural areas? Most of the work was geared to appease supporters in the rural areas.

It is also believed that Gideon Gono was responsible for helping to fund ZANU PFs violent clamp-down during the 2008 election period.

Biti and the Reserve Bank could not be reached for comment.

Post published in: News

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