CHITUNGWIZA Town Council has suspended three municipality workers’ union leaders without salaries and benefits after accusing them of releasing adverse information about the local authority in alleged violation of the municipality’s code of conduct.
The union’s chairperson Ephraim Katsina, secretary Temson Bamusi and committee member Ngonidzashe Marau received their suspension letters on May 5 2014.
A council official who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed the suspensions, which he said were done procedurally.
“All I can tell you for now is that the suspensions are above board as the three violated the code of conduct for the Municipality of Chitungwiza,” he said, adding that they would be a hearing where the trio’s fate would be determined.
The three are accused of engineering bad media publicity on the municipality. They have since been ordered to surrender all council property in their possession and barred from entering the council premises or interfering with witnesses.
On December 4 2012, the municipality dismissed 17 union leaders led by Nyikadzino Matsikidze on similar charges.
The Chitungwiza Residents’ Trust (Chitrest) have accused the local authority of seeking to “weaken the spirit of labour activism” at a time when employees had gone for over a year without salaries.
“We are tempted to conclude that this is an attempt to weaken or terminate the spirit of labour activism at the municipality by the town management and silence the workers, who have not being paid for the past thirteen (13) months,” Chitrest said in a statement.
Following a Chitrest meeting held yesterday over the issue, the trust resolved to write to Chitungwiza Municipality to have the trio reinstated within one week.
“Today’s meeting resolved that Chitrest and the workers’ unions concerned write to Chitungwiza Municipality seeking the reinstatement of the trio within seven days, failure of which unspecified action will be taken by residents and the municipal workers jointly in solidarity with the suspended workers,” the trust said.