Another employee of National Railway of Zimbabwe (NRZ) attempted to commit suicide, barely a week after another tried to end his life citing economic hardships.
The latest incident took place Wednesday where sources said the employee who works at the Mechanical Engineers Workshops in Raylton allegedly attempted suicide by consuming a poisonous substance at home.
He (name withheld) was rushed to United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) in Bulawayo, where he is currently admitted.
Last Friday, a 35-year-old man was rescued from the top of the NRZ headquarters in the city centre where he attempted to throw himself down the 110-metre building.
The man identified as Andrew Banda was pulled back from the roof by firefighters
Sources said: “In the latest case, the man’s wife is the one who made the report and stated that reasons for wanting to end his life are almost the same as Banda’s case where the money is not enough.”
Workers at the parastatal expressed concern over these suicide cases and said there was a need for them to pray and thwart the “spirit of suicide hovering around” otherwise more would try to take that route.
They also suggested that there was a need for workers’ unions to call for an emergency meeting with the general manager over the welfare of the employees.
Contacted for a comment, NRZ Public Relations Manager, Nyasha Maravanyika, said the company had not received the latest suicide case.
“We haven’t received this report perhaps it is yet to be captured in our accident wire,” he said.
However, Maravanyika questioned whether this was a suicide attempt related to NRZ or perhaps the man was facing another challenge elsewhere.
“Are you sure it was a suicide case or maybe the man is ill then was rushed to UBH. I say so because when NRZ looked into Banda’s case, we learnt his suicide was not related to a poor salary but due to family problems, gambling and women,” said the NRZ spokesperson.
He, however, noted that NRZ had a welfare department located in the Human Resources Department that offered counselling services to workers.
“Even NRZ officials from time to time meet workers. We also have a clinic in-house that offers counselling services. The counselling structures are there but maybe now we need to see whether they are effective, considering that suicide cases seem real and need attention,” he said.
Maravanyika highlighted that the railway employees were paid on time and currently waiting for their bonus, squashing assumptions that NRZ was not paying its workers timely.
“Everyone has received their November salary and they are waiting for disbursement for their bonus. Unless if people say the cry is over the economy, where prices are going up drastically but as an organisation, we have tried to engage the unions about these changes,” he said.
“The railway employers’ council also meets to discuss drastic changes where workers receive increments. We are responding well to the economy and this is something that workers union can testify to.”