HomeNewsChitown workers go for 21 months without pay

Chitown workers go for 21 months without pay

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CHITUNGWIZA Town Council workers said yesterday they were now living miserable lives after going for 21 months without pay amid reports that more than 30 died last year as they could not pay for medical services.

MOSES MATENGA
STAFF REPORTER

Several others have reportedly been rendered homeless as they cannot raise money for rentals.

Workers told NewsDay yesterday that they were living miserable lives due to non-payment of their salaries for the past 21 months.

“It’s now 21 months without receiving our full salary in Chitungwiza. Thirty-two workers passed away in 2014 for lack of medication and stress. Our children are not going to school because we do not have the money for school fees,” said a council employee who declined to be named.

“No landlord now wants Chitungwiza council workers as tenants because we can’t afford to pay on time.

“Workers’ council members have all been fired and we fear making demands because we will be fired as well,” he added.

The workers said they only received $190 for Christmas and New Year holidays while their bosses allegedly awarded themselves at least $5 000 each.

“At least 104 workers have been retrenched without benefits and notice after serving the town for more than 32 years in some cases,” another worker said.

Town clerk George Makunde was not immediately available for comment and is reportedly on leave until February.

Mayor Philip Mutoti admitted his council was facing a financial crisis, but said there was little his team could do as residents were not paying their rates on time.

“We are really trying to give them something, but we depend on what people pay for services rendered.

“Residents are not paying and we are overstaffed as a council. We have started a process of retrenching workers,” he said.

He added: “So far, we have written letters to those above 60 to retrench them and 700 others who are even below that are soon going to be retrenched.

“Our wage bill is $1,5 million a month while we collect between $1,2 million and $1,3 million a month. That money covers all services including refuse collection and buying water from Harare and if we concentrate on paying salaries, there won’t be any services.”

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