CHITUNGWIZA Municipality workers have accused their management of appointing members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police as mediators in the impasse where the employees are demanding payment of their outstanding salaries for the past 34 months.
BY MOSES MATENGA
Workers’ representative Ephraim Katsina claimed that they were being barred from interfacing with the managers in the absence of police officers.
“We are not allowed access; they don’t want to talk to us. Police had to intervene and said we should come through them and now we send our case through the police and they respond through the police,” Katsina said. “If we go there as representatives, it’s either they evade us or they think we are there to cause violence,” he said.
“The [Local Government] minister [Saviour Kasukuwere] has gone to Gweru, Mutare and other cities, but he has not come to Chitungwiza, which is a stone’s throw away, to address issues. We plead with him to come and address our concerns,” Katsina said.
However, town clerk George Makunde this week refuted the claims, describing them as “political statements”.
“Be careful of political statements. Salary issues are private and confidential. The human resources and finance departments are ready to receive issues from them. They meet as works council and agree on things. I can’t lie to you on when they last met,” he said.
Makunde said it was also not true that workers had not been paid for 34 months.
“People are not telling the truth that they have gone for 34 months without salaries. That is politicising issues. After rationalisation, we are now paying October salaries and what is left is before that period,” he said.
Last year, several workers complained that each time they gathered at the town offices to engage council bosses, they were attacked by suspected Zanu PF youths.
National police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba was not reachable for for comment yesterday.