The Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) has come under the spotlight after it emerged the company’s acting chief executive (CEO) Saston Muzenda has disregarded its disciplinary committee and dismissed seven workers who were exonerated of any wrongdoing.

BY MOSES MATENGA

This came as panic has gripped the parastatal after it allegedly engaged a private human resources firm to recruit dozens of tollgate cashiers, an indication that a massive bloodbath was looming at the company.

The Zimbabwe Revenue and Allied Workers Trade Union general-secretary Lovemore Ngwarati said the union has been left with no option, but to engage the Ministry of Labour to protect the workers from “clear abuse of office” by management.

“I realised that the workers have been found not guilty, even after appeal. I hear the CEO has instructed that they be dismissed, despite a recommendation to reinstate them by the disciplinary committee. We are left with no option but to go to the Labour ministry,” Ngwarati said.

A source said Muzenda had instructed that the workers be dismissed despite winning an appeal against dismissal.

“He has given instruction and tomorrow (today) or Monday they will get letters of dismissal and that is a ploy to maintain their plan and their numbers. They won their cases, there was an appeal and the workers won. What simply needs to be done is to have them reinstated,” the source said.
He said the Zinara boss’ action was clear abuse of office because he had no legal basis to fire the workers who won their cases. “Legally it is criminal, even if you use their own code. It is a criminal issue,” Gwarati added.

Muzenda was not immediately available for comment.

Zinara and its workers are embroiled in serious fights that have triggered mass resignations amid suspicion that Transport minister Joel Biggie Matiza was pushing, through the Zinara board, recruitment of workers mainly from Mashonaland East province to solidify his control and secure his position in both the province and constituency.

It is also alleged that Matiza was working in cahoots with the Zinara board chairman Michael Madanha and his Zanu PF deputy in Mashonaland East in the execution of the plan.

Matiza and Madanha have denied the allegations, describing what is happening at Zinara as a “necessary” cleansing exercise.