Widow sues NRZ for $25 000

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Mashudu Net­sianda Se­nior Court Re­porter

A BU­L­AWAYO wo­man has taken the Na­tional Rail­ways of Zim­babwe (NRZ) to court over her late hus­band’s out­stand­ing salaries and ter­mi­nal ben­e­fits amount­ing to about $25 000.

Mrs Ethel Lukama whose hus­band, the late Sakuwa, was a se­nior en­gine­man, has filed sum­mons at the Bu­l­awayo High Court de­mand­ing $25 587, 21 in parked salary, ter­mi­nal ben­e­fits and out­stand­ing salaries from NRZ.

In pa­pers be­fore the court, she cited NRZ as the de­fen­dant.

Mrs Lukama, through her lawyers Mes­dames, Vundhla-Phulu and Part­ners said NRZ has de­spite ac­knowl­edg­ing the debt con­tin­u­ously failed or ne­glected to pay.

She said NRZ only paid her $3 000 and re­mained with $25 587,21.

“The de­fen­dant owed my hus­band out­stand­ing salaries, ter­mi­nal ben­e­fits and parked salary and there is me­moran­dum to con­firm that.

“NZR has paid $3 000 to­wards the out­stand­ing amount,” said Mrs Lukama.

She wants an or­der di­rect­ing NRZ to pay the money and the le­gal costs.

“Where­fore plain­tiff claim against the de­fen­dant is for an or­der for the pay­ment of $25 587,21 being the bal­ance for out­stand­ing salaries, ter­mi­nal ben­e­fits and parked salary,” said Mrs Lukama. NRZ has not yet filed op­pos­ing pa­pers. The strug­gling paras­tatal which is tee­ter­ing on the brink of col­lapse has failed to pay its work­ers for sev­eral months.

The work­ers, who are owed thou­sands of dol­lars in un­paid trans­port al­lowances, in May staged na­tion­wide protests aimed at forc­ing man­age­ment to pay them their out­stand­ing salaries.

The dis­grun­tled work­ers across the coun­try re­cently downed tools, bring­ing to a halt op­er­a­tions, in­clud­ing the trans­porta­tion of im­ported wheat and drought re­lief maize.

NRZ is strug­gling to at­tract in­vest­ment from the pri­vate sec­tor, a sit­u­a­tion which has seen it fail­ing to stem its bal­loon­ing salary debt.

The paras­tatal’s salary ar­rears con­tinue to in­crease as the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s for­tunes con­tinue to take a knock due to a sub­dued mar­ket.— @mash­nets

Mr Lu­tendo Moyo (left), his mother Emma and his wife Cir­cum­stance of Malala area col­lect Mopane leaves which they mix with stock­feed for their cat­tle as grass is crit­i­cally scarce at this time of the year in ru­ral Beit­bridge

Mrs Belinda Ndlovu

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