MANICALAND Provincial Affairs minister Mandi Chimene on Wednesday urged the MDC-T-dominated Mutare City Council to stamp its authority on managers lest councillors be taken for a ride and fail to deliver for the people who voted them into office.
By OBEY MANAYITI
The firebrand minister also urged the councillors to disregard directives from their party leaders as some of them were doing that in bad faith and not for the good of Mutare.
The free advice came during a tense meeting between Chimene and hundreds of city workers who have reportedly gone for a year without getting paid. She promised to turn around their misfortunes.
The workers complained that they were facing severe hardships as they could not afford to pay rent, school fees, medical bills and other essentials.
“If you fail to select the councillors, then there is no way things could move ahead in this city. That is where our issues die,” Chimene said.
“If they fail to defend the rights of people of Mutare, then the council workers will do as they please. If the councillors say there is no holiday allowance, but they see where it was paid, then it is their responsibility of raising such points. They have the right to see the payroll and analyse who was last paid and how much.”
She said councillors should not be divided because of political affiliation.
“A councillor is a councillor and if you divide yourselves as MDC or Zanu PF, then workers (managers) will take advantage and you will end up taking your anger to the wrong people,” Chimene said.
The minister said she was ready to work with any elected official regardless of their political affiliation.
Mutare has 13 MDC-T and six Zanu PF councillors.
“Don’t be intimidated by the leader of your own political parties who themselves failed to win. You won for the people and not for the party. You must serve the government of the day. Let’s work for the people,” Chimene said.