Gweru council workers down tools

Council workers on Tuesday went on strike protesting against non payment of their November salaries and bonuses.

The angry workers brought business to a standstill at the Gweru Civic Centre demanding their salaries or bonuses.

Municipal workers sang and danced at the centre demanding an audience with senior council officials.

“As council workers we need our bonuses,” said Simbarashe Liboo, a municipal employee.

“Every employee knows that at the end of the month workers should be given their 13th cheque.
“We want our bonuses and we do not want them staggered over several months.

“They give each other allowances yet they let us die of hunger.”

Zimbabwe Urban Council Workers Union secretary-general Kudakwashe Munengiwa accused council of being insensitive to the plight of workers.

“Council workers have demonstrated because council has told us they do not have money to give workers their bonuses,” Munengiwa said.
“What has angered workers is that we know how wasteful our council is with their officials travelling everywhere and getting allowances.

“Maybe if they were not so wasteful, they would have given workers their bonus hence the decision by workers to demonstrate.”

He claimed senior council officials had already been paid their salaries.

Council’s finance director Edgar Mwedzi blamed delays in the payment of salaries to cashflow problems.

“We do not have enough cash inflows to pay salaries and bonuses,” he said.

“At the moment we do not even have enough to pay November salaries due today (Wednesday) and we will pay them as residents pay their rates.”

Mwedzi said council relied on revenue from rates as it was wary of borrowing more money to finance its operations.

But he dismissed allegations council was wasteful and that officials were lining their pockets with undeserved allowances.

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