A kombi driver contracted to the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) said one of the reasons why some Zimbabweans engage in criminal activities is that those who work hard are not rewarded for their efforts.
The driver, Oscar Nare, was speaking to Chronicle on Wednesday at the ZUPCO Kelvin Depot during a sit-in by kombi drivers who were protesting over delayed salaries and poor working conditions.
Nare said it was mindboggling that they had gone for two months without being paid their salaries yet they cash in over ZWL$17 000 a day. He said:
We work tirelessly every day so that we have a decent amount to cash in at the end of the day. Where is that money going? We ask management to pay us our dues, we sweat for that money.
The reason why people resort to crime is that doing something decent does not pay, you do not get what you worked for. It’s surprising that we have worked for this company for two years but we are only seeing the management for the first time today.
The drivers insisted that they will not go back to work until they receive their payments. Another driver, Khumbulani Nxumalo said:
We are not going to ferry passengers until our money has been reflected in our accounts. Most of us here are living hand to mouth.
Our families are looking up to us and we cannot feed them because we have not been paid for nearly three months now.
What do they think we are eating? Our children are on lockdown. What will they eat?
Representatives of ZUPCO management told the disgruntled drivers that they would receive their salaries before the end of the day yesterday.
A representative from the management who spoke on condition of anonymity said they had been shown proof that transfers had been done and the drivers were expected to receive their salaries anytime on Wednesday.
The drivers said they have no direct relations with the company. ZUPCO pays the kombi owners, then the owners pay the drivers.