HARARE municipal workers have threatened to boycott the inaugural inter-cities sports festival starting today in protest over unpaid salaries.
The sports festival is being hosted by Harare City Council and is expected to attract council workers from different towns and cities across the country.
In a statement, worker representatives said council employees should boycott the sports festival.
“As the three trade unions in the Harare municipal undertaking, we have been engaging the employer on salaries. However, we have not conclusively dealt with the issue today (Friday) because the employer has given an excuse as they are busy preparing for the luxurious and expensive sports festival,” the union leaders led by Harare
Municipal Workers’ Union executive chairman Cosmas Bungu said in a statement.
“As such, our members cannot be seen to participate in the festival on empty stomachs. The money used for sponsoring such festivals and hosting 10 cities and towns could have been used to meet employees’ salaries as well as improving service delivery.
“All cities and towns invited are up to date with their salaries; they are not hungry so we can’t be seen
to be participating on empty stomachs.”
Council bosses were said to be locked in a series of meetings to resolve the impasse, while Harare City Council spokesperson Michael Chideme could also not immediately comment on the matter.
The festival will feature 10 local authorities competing in various sporting disciplines at Belgravia Sports Club in Harare.
According to council, the games were aimed at providing a platform for leadership, management and staff of local authorities to interact and foster cordial employee relations.