Zim Cricket lays off staff

HARARE - ZImbabwe Cricket has conducted a redundancy exercise with a number of employees losing their jobs while those left behind are set to take a 50 percent salary cut.

The salary cuts which will be across the board have already commenced with a 10 percent deduction after every three months.

ZC decided to stagger the deductions until they reach the 50 percent mark to allow the employees to adjust to the dwindling income base.

The union public relations manager, Darlington Majonga, said: “ZC operates with fixed-term contracts for all its employees. The contracts for most employees for the 2015/16 season expired on April 30, 2016.

“Before the expiry of the contracts, employees were given written notices of expiry of their contracts in line with the notice period for termination of fixed-term contracts as prescribed by Section 12 (4a) of the Labour Relations Act Chapter 28:01.

“As a follow-up to the notices, ZC wrote a memo to all staff members reminding them of the ongoing restructuring exercise. At the moment, ZC is operating with employees who still have running contracts and, in the process, has ensured that all critical areas are manned.”

Majonga denied that there will be salary cuts for the remaining workforce.

“For new contracts, salary reduction is not an issue because these will be essentially new contracts,” he said.

“The rest of the contracts are, however, being reviewed as part of ZC’s streamlining exercise which is still ongoing.”

However, affected workers confirmed the salary cuts.

“Finance has just come up with unexplained percentages hence affecting everyone unreasonably,” a ZC employee told the Daily News.

“It was not explained how they had got to that 50 percent cut; they just imposed the figure without consulting us...”

ZC adopted these austerity measures in order to manage their spiralling debt due to loans taken up with local banks.

At one point, the union owed at least $4 million to the local institutions but at the moment it is believed the figure has risen to $24 million due to interest rates.

ZC decided to take the loans from local banks despite the fact that the International Cricket Council (ICC) has a loan facility for Test-playing nations with a zero-percent interest rate.

The union’s finances have also been affected by the fact that Zimbabwe playes very limited Test series against the top-ranked nations.

Hamilton Maskadza’s men have only played in their whites 14 times in the last 11 years and recently proposed Tests against Bangladesh have been called off.

Test matches against the leading nations like India, Australia and England generate the most revenue from television rights.

However, since Zimbabwe’s decline after the rebel saga and the self-imposed exile for six years between 2005 and 2011, England and Australia have shun touring or hosting the southern African country.

India meanwhile, continues to tour Zimbabwe but their schedule will only include limited overs matches and no Tests.

The Asian giants are scheduled to tour the country next month for a series involving three ODIs and three Twenty20 matches.

India has also rested a number of their leading cricketers for their visits to Zimbabwe in the past which is likely to happen for this tour as well.

Reports in India indicate that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is likely to rest their top-three batsmen — Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli together with limited overs skipper MS Dhoni for the trip.

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