Workers at the Hwange Zimbabwe United Passengers Company (ZUPCO) Depot are living in fear of being fired from work at any time. A top official on the premises has refused to work with local people citing language barrier challenges. Hwange is situated in Matabeleland North Province in Zimbabwe and the primary languages spoken there are Nambya and Tonga.
Speaking to one of the employees who refused to be named for fear of victimisation, she said “He said he cannot work with Nambya and Tonga people because he does not understand their language”. This resulted in the termination of contracts for many local people who were employed by the Public Transport Operator at the end of September 2021. More allegations have been raised against the said official as he is being accused of not only discrimination but sexual harassment as well. Apparently sources say that he openly brags about how he is untouchable because of his high connections. Anyone who challenges his actions risks his or her contract being terminated as the official will decline to renew the contract.”
A member of the workers committee, Mr N (not real name) said “We are honestly tired of this issue and we wish neutral people can intervene and assist. We have tried our best but we cannot risk our jobs as well. We will be happy if this matter is resolved and people return to work.”