HARARE City Council workers have threatened to petition President Robert Mugabe over the failure by the MDC-T-dominated council to pay their salaries for the past three months.
BY MOSES MATENGA
Harare Municipal Workers’ Union executive chairman Cosmas Bungu said city fathers were violating their rights, hence the need to engage the “highest office.”
“We want to advise the employer that if this matter (salaries) remains unresolved, we shall seek the intervention of the highest office in Zimbabwe through the Minister (of Local Government Saviour Kasukuwere).
“Your council wants to return us to the dark days of the Rhodesian era, where black workers were treated with disdain and ridicule, hence resulting in the First and Second Chimurenga where blood was shed to free us from the evil settler regime of Ian Smith and his forefathers,” Bungu wrote in a letter dated January 14 and addressed to mayor Bernard Manyenyeni and acting town clerk Josephine Ncube.
Workers said council debts were ballooning because of lack of strategy by the city fathers on how to recover the more than $424 million owed by residents.
“City of Harare management is on record saying it has a fat debtors book which at most in our considered and proven view is not being managed properly through allegedly management’s dexterity corruption and lack of coordination by the respective parties. A brief of the debt would reveal frightening figures in terms of its debt biography,” said the workers.
Workers also alleged money realised from vendors was being taken by individuals and not remitted to council.
“We want to advise the City of Harare that it is morally wrong to force workers to go on industrial action demanding their salaries and bonuses which is a right and yet the City of Harare is in receipt of more than $13 million plus on a monthly basis,” Bungu said.
“Workers cannot be made sacrificial lambs for the Lord says in Deuteronomy 24:14-15 ‘You shall not oppress a hired servant who is poor and needy whether he is one of your country men or of your aliens who is in your land in your towns. You shall give him his wages on his day before the sun sets, for he is poor and sets his heart on it, so that he will not cry against you to the Lord and it becomes sin in you.”