Council employees threaten to petition Mugabe over salaries

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.”

11 Responses to Council employees threaten to petition Mugabe over salaries

  1. Adam January 23, 2016 at 7:16 am #

    These Harare City Council workers will be shocked to know about a few facts:
    1. Under the Ian Smith regime workers were paid on time their monthly wages and annual bonuses

    2.One of the biggest debtors to HCC is govt itself.
    3. Govt is struggling to pay its workers monthly wages and so far has failed to pay them annual bonuses
    4.Under the Smith regime all surburbs had constant supply of running water,electricity, good roads etc
    5. Under the Smith regime central govt used to give grants to HCC for capital projects but now they do not exist.
    6. Many businesses are failing to pay monthy to their workers due to difficult operating conditions.

  2. jojo January 23, 2016 at 7:31 am #

    Its funny that they are able to spend hundreds of thousands of the benjamins on a football team and yet there is nothing being done on service delivery and workers welfare. kkkkkk

  3. Nyikadzino January 23, 2016 at 9:34 am #

    It is not the MDCT council failing to pay the workers,Adam is right. Zimbabwe has gone to the dogs. Who is so lame not to see what is happening at the moment? You shall see poverty this year. Haisati yatanga. Mucharidza miridzo.

  4. zacks magora January 23, 2016 at 10:30 am #

    Ko ma salaries eva kuru akadzikiswa here or its just a talk show

  5. vivian v siziba January 23, 2016 at 11:02 am #

    In any case one of the the chief culprits failing to settle debts with the Harare Local Authority are government departments.Why are those workers by passing the local government minister and other structures which can attend to their salary grievances?By seeking audience with the highest office the workers are insinuating that in the cabinet meetings the President is not being briefed by the minister about the cash flow crises affecting all local authorities in the country.

  6. vivian v siziba January 23, 2016 at 11:22 am #

    In any case,the government departments are the worst culprits in failing to settle their debts with the local authority.These workers think that by seeking audience with the president,their salary problems will be resolved over night, this situation is faced by all local authorities in the country.The economic meltdown is sparing no one,no sector,it’s simply dog eat dog.

  7. TONGESAI January 23, 2016 at 11:54 am #

    But we remember sometime council trying to reduce workforce saying this was not sustainable under current economic difficulties. The move was allegedly blocked by highest offices. For your own information we as residence would only tolerate a case where we get services first for the rates we pay. We can sustain a bloated council workforce when we are not having water. Hazvichaiti hazvichaiti, every sector is crying because of the economy. dont blame council alone. Isu tatova ma indigenous after being laid off in companies. AH, by the way do you still remember the highest offices ordering residence not to pay their bills under the so called amnesty? Did they help council with grands or subsidies after that?

  8. MILTON January 23, 2016 at 11:54 am #

    But we remember sometime council trying to reduce workforce saying this was not sustainable under current economic difficulties. The move was allegedly blocked by highest offices. For your own information we as residence would only tolerate a case where we get services first for the rates we pay. We can sustain a bloated council workforce when we are not having water. Hazvichaiti hazvichaiti, every sector is crying because of the economy. dont blame council alone. Isu tatova ma indigenous after being laid off in companies. AH, by the way do you still remember the highest offices ordering residence not to pay their bills under the so called amnesty? Did they help council with grands or subsidies after that?

  9. macheka January 23, 2016 at 11:57 am #

    The council workers’s representatives such as Bungu or Mhungu try to politicise the game of salaries. This aint political my guys. Even if you take the matter to the highest office today, I dont see money coming over night. Is it not your council who are chasing and grabbing vendors’ wares daily in town. Did these vendors choose to be where they are today? Remember civil servants, they are not also sure if January salaries will come. Even the highest offices you claim promised civil servants bonuses last year but where are the bonuses. For your own information, the highest office you talk about also caused massive budgetary strain on local authorities nation wide by failing to pay government bills. Do you still remember one minister advising residence not to pay their bills to council saying there was a blanket amnesty. And who then was going to foot the bill left. Did the local authorities get any grants from government by then to subsidize loses that were to accrue? Remember the case of Mahachi, getting a hefty salaries and allowances. When the council officials were trying to get rid of him, was it not the highest office in the form of a certain minister who would block any council attempts, instead reinstating the suspended town clerk several times? In fact to show that local authorities are struggling, did they not try to offload the workforce and manage the salary bill but the move was blocked by the highest office. So the answer lies in policies and interference from highest offices as well as the general economic melt down in our country. You can go to the highest office only in the highest office is made up of cash vomiting gods. Good luck Bungu

  10. Realist January 23, 2016 at 11:32 pm #

    This Cosmas Bungu has been the Chairman of the Council’s Union since time immemorial. He’s successfully made a career out of it. The question is when did the Union last hold leadership elections. I smell a stinky rat here. This culture of leaders remaining in positions for life has really caught on. The real reason he is crying foul is that no more member’s subscriptions are coming to their coffers, which should happen on a monthly basis.No salaries also means no bread for them too. And the to tell Mugabe about it is as lame as it sounds. He also cant pay his workforce dummy. So what can he do? Fire the whole MDC management? That’s the stinky rat I was smelling. Bungu is a zanupf apologist.

  11. Basa January 24, 2016 at 2:07 am #

    I am surprised people still look up on Mugabe to solve their problems.
    They can’t see 35 years of failure. Kkkkkkkkk.

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