ZANU PF, MDC condemn Council’s bid to lay off workers

The ruling party, ZANU PF and the Tsvangirai led MDC have joined hands in condemning Harare City Council’s intentions to lay off 3 000 workers.

The City Council targeted to lay off a third of its workforce and give them terminal benefits equivalent to three months’ salary in line with the recent Supreme Court ruling.

Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Saviour Kasukuwere, yesterday blasted city council for intending to lay off part of its workers.

“I’m surprised that City of Harare is moving in that direction because they should have discussed the matter with me.

“There is a better chance for us to turn City of Harare. We should maximize on rate collection and making sure that the services provided by council are paid for,” said Minister Kasukuwere, who contends that  City Council has the capacity to pay all its workers.

He also registered his agony over a few individuals who get heft salaries at the expense of lowly paid workers.

“We have a situation in which those at the top are milking and those at the bottom struggling. How do you fire those at the bottom whose combined salaries are not heft? As we speak some of them are 5 months behind their salaries,” he said.

He vowed that will engage the city fathers and the Mayor so as to make a resolution which will not make people suffer.

Harare Mayor, Benard Manyenyeni purported that the Minister was fast to condemn council’s efforts to send home some of its workers .

“The issue is not yet with the Mayor, it’s not yet with the minister.  At the moment it’s still at committee level,” he said adding that at committee level everything is a consideration.

He added that people need to find at what point, what information is availed to who and for what purpose.

Meanwhile, the MDC-T, through its Harare Province leadership said it will not allow the MDC-dominated council to fire even a single employee in line with the recent Supreme Court ruling.

“The party, through the province, has since directed the council not to engage in the needless retrenchment of employees in compliance with the court ruling,” reads the statement issued by Eric Murai, the Party’s Provincial Chairperson.

The Tsvangirai led Movement for Democratic Change which boosts of the majority of councilors in Harare said its councilors will not be used to fire workers.

“It is the MDC, that deployed councilors to serve all ratepayers in the first place and we will not allow them to fight and fire workers on notice in an arbitrary and insensitive manner, without any packages or benefits,” reads part of the statement.

The statement went on to say, “It is individual councilors as chairpersons of council committees that had purportedly resolved to fire the 3 000 workers. Certainly, the decision of a few individual councilors cannot be allowed to prevail on a momentous issue of such magnitude in the absence of convening of a full council.”