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Zimra workers allege victimisation

by BUSINESS REPORTER

MEMBERS of the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) workers’ committee have resigned en-masse, citing victimisation by management and the board.

In a letter gleaned by NewsDay, a leader of the workers’ union said management had forced a workers’ representative to write a report following a recent visit by the tax collector’s board.

“Please, be advised that 49 of the 54 members’ of the workers committee in our region have resigned with immediate effect, citing fear of being victimised by the employer.
From the resignations submitted to me, which cited almost the same issues, the following reasons were given: The recent developments in which Mr John Chirenda, a member of the workers’ committee and a respected union leader, was allegedly asked to write a report on events that happened during and after the board’s station visit to Kurima (Zimra headquaters).

The workers’ committee interpreted the treatment which Chirenda is reportedly getting to be attempts by the employer to silence workers from raising their legitimate grievances, chief among them the challenges brought about by the sharp increase in the cost of living,” wrote the leader of the workers’ committee.

“Out of fear by members of the workers’ committee that they, too, will be victimised for their efforts to represent workers I, therefore, also am unable to continue as a member and chairman of Region 1 and Kurima workers’ committee and practically, we no longer have a workers’ committee. With immediate effect, therefore, accept my resignation from the committee.”

Last month, the Zimra board led by Calisto Jokonya, came under fire from workers after it threatened not to review workers’ salaries until they rid themselves of corruption.

The workers said Jokonya displayed arrogance by refusing to entertain questions from employees and added that levelling unsubstantiated allegations of corruption against employees bordered on victimisation aimed at silencing employees from raising their grievances.

Commenting on the issue, Zimra spokesperson Francis Chimanda said the issue was being dealt with internally.

“This is an internal staff matter which is being dealt with internally and Zimra is focusing on finding solutions which seek to improve staff welfare and their work environment while delivering on its mandate of revenue collection, trade and travel facilitation. Zimra cannot therefore discuss internal issues in the public domain,” he said.

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