Former employees of the liquidated SME Bank have vented their anger by taking to the streets demonstrating against government for failing to pay their salaries for nine months now.
The employees fell victim when the bank was declared insolvent after N$200 million was ransacked from its accounts before going down the drain and were given 24hours to resign.
“Given the insolvent situation of the bank, the liquidators were only in a position to offer one week for each year of service. The bank was relatively new, accordingly, the highest an employee could receive was five week’s salary.”
“The majority of employees received between three and two weeks’ pay which is less than a month’s salary. Some employees were recruited early this year and have not clocked a year’s service as at the date of retrenchment. Such employees received nothing in severance pay,” said Justine Bebhart in the petition they handed to the ministry of finance and that of trade.
The employees who were joined by representatives of affected SME Bank account holders who have not as yet recouped their monies crowded at the ministry of finance chanting anti-Zimbabweans slogans.
They demonstrated to the ministry of trade were they chanted down corruption, unemployment before calling out on minister Tjekero Tweya to give them more answers to what’s going on with their money.
“Families are suffering. We need our money now. As depositors, we are going to meet and join us also at our next demonstration,” said another aggrieved victim.
Another claimed that ever since the bank closed, small business runners who used to be funded by the bank had turned to criminal activities.
The employees have appealed to both ministries and that of labour to write off their loans with the bank citing their inability to meet such obligations while unemployed.
“It’s worth mentioning that all Zimbabweans are leading normal lives back in their country. They are all re-employed at Metbank while we are suffering. Why is the government blind to our suffering?”
“Currently, Sisa Namandje and the Zim Representatives are busy auditing the money collected since closure of the bank. Where is our government, the major shareholder? We request that government revert back to us on or before 28 May 2018,” said the demonstrators.
They said that if their demands were not met they will be demonstrating every month.
Meanwhile, they said that engagements with government as well as the president have been in vain saying, “We discovered that we have an inconsiderate and uncaring government.”