Redcliff ambulance attached

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Redcliff Municipality yesterday lost seven vehicles including its only ambulance after the local authority failed to settle former city treasurer Geoffrey Sithole’s outstanding salary and allowance arrears.

The property will be moved from council premises and auctioned on January 12 if the local authority fails to pay Sithole and the messenger of court’s costs.

Two months ago, the local authority was ordered to pay $6 000 to Sithole after the latter won an arbitration dispute at the Labour Court.

Sithole then referred the case to the High Court after the local authority defied the order, prompting Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku to register the award.

Town clerk Elizabeth Gwatipedza was not present when the Deputy Sheriff descended on her offices.

Instead, her personal assistant, only identified as Tagurirei, was present.

Woes continue to mount on the financially-strapped local authority which is also battling court action from its workers who are demanding payment of outstanding wages and salaries going back 20 months.

Late last year, council suspended three union leaders from work alleging they had incited workers into a riotous and illegal strike.

The employees went into Christmas and New Year’s holidays with empty pockets and have threatened court action.

Recently, council approached Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo seeking a $17 million bailout from government.

Gwatipedza told government without the money the local authority would collapse because residents and ratepayers were not settling their bills.

“We have a historic relationship with Ziscosteel (now New Zimsteel). If that company is not performing our coffers run dry and that is what is happening at the moment,” Gwatipedza said.

Chombo is yet to respond to the council’s request.