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Return to work or else — Mayor

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Harare Mayor Muchadeyi Masunda has warned a group of council workers who are in the habit of calling for on and off strikes that they risk losing their jobs, as the behaviour was crippling operations to the detriment of residents.

Masunda said: “They need to go back to work pending final outcome and negotiations. They must know that the level of unemployment is unsustainably high and they wouldn’t want to find themselves on the streets,” he said.

“If they choose to go slow, it will affect the city’s capacity to generate the much-needed revenue. There is Christmas on the corner and the next thing they will demand is bonus. We generate our own revenue and like (Finance) minister, (Tendai) Biti always says, we eat what we gather,” Masunda said.

The cash-strapped municipality is owed more than $200 million by the corporate world, residents and government departments.

Yesterday, Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo said: “Both parties shouldn’t be driven by selfish interests. They should know that whatever they do, residents come first and if they fail on that, I will not take it lightly,” he said.

“What do they need the 95 000 workers for if there is nothing for them to use? City fathers should negotiate in good faith and why keep a bloated workforce if they don’t have money to pay them?

“It’s like employing 50 drivers when you have five cars. It doesn’t make sense. Why are they not retrenching then when their human resources audit said there were ghost workers?”

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