BancABC dismisses over 50% of management staff as Zim’s Q1 bloodbath continues

March 21, 2024

According to a well-placed source, we have learned that BancABC has begun “retrenching” over 50% of its management staff. Saying these individuals were laid off is a little kind because there are, from the documents we gleaned, dismissals on grounds we can’t quite understand…

The respondents received documents that revealed that they were going to be suspended without pay for alleged offences they committed that were bespoke to each one. This was also followed up by an immediate suspension without pay until hearings were conducted to process their exit from the company.

The first Quarter of 2024 in corporate Zimbabwe has been unusual…

An economy as unstable as Zimbabwe’s retrenchments and dismissals due to “low operating volumes” or “economic challenges” is nothing out of the ordinary. However, Q1 2024, unlike other times in the history of the country, manifested a slew of retrenchments or layoffs quite like anything that has been seen before publicly.

Most notable has been Zimplats which, due to cratering commodity prices, offers voluntary employee retrenchments. The company expressed that this situation is to hold for the next 12 – 18 months. That’s little consolation for the employees who may eventually be deemed surplus to resources but they have come out ahead of it, at the very least.

Bata, the shoe company, might be the most curious one out of the bunch because they were recalling retrenched employees back to work. The working assumption is that they do not have the resources to pay off any promised packages and this will just be an exercise of dismissals to mitigate the financial bleed…

Benchmarking the cause…

However, unlike the measurable cases of a downturn in the case of Bata which released 106 employees in late 2023 because a factory in Gweru caught fire and sales volumes were low. Or ZimPlats which is suffering from a current downturn of international prices… 

BancABC, from what we have seen, hasn’t released its financial statements to the public since 2019. There is nothing that can concretely show us why BancABC has been moved to remove 50% of its management staff.

We approached BancABC seeking clarification on the alleged retrenchment and failure to adhere to due process a week ago, but we have not received a response from the bank at the time of publishing.

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.zedw is a media and data insights company that provides market anaylsis of the Southern African Markets.