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Mayor Urges Council Workers to Call off Looming Strike

  • Tatenda Gumbo

Harare Town Council

Harare Town Council

Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni has urged municipal workers not to go on strike as workers threaten industrial action over nonpayment of salaries.

Manyenyeni, who met with workers Thursday, said Friday the city is expected to hold an all stakeholders meeting including workers, council representatives and residents over the issue.

Manyenyeni told VOA Studio 7 it was of the interest of the council to engage all parties directly interested and affected by the strike.

"I am of the view that we must have a four-way discussion with our residents and rate payers as one, our workers as two, our management as three and elected officials as four, so all sides express their side of the story,” said Manyenyeni.

He hopes that through that type of dialogue every stakeholder understands what is done by Harare City Council.

Meanwhile, as Chitungwiza workers have continued a crippling strike after failing to reach an agreement with the local authority this week over salary arrears backdating to 2013, sources said Public Service and Labour Minister Nicholas Goche has sent workers a show cause order, directing them to explain why they are on strike.

Chitungwiza workers say employers have refused to entertain them, insisting that they must go back to work because their industrial action is illegal.

Disgruntled workers are alleging council directors have been able to pay themselves high salaries while failing to pay them.

Manyenyeni, said an industrial strike should not be an option for workers.

Speaking on the issue, former Local Government Deputy Minister and MDC-T local government shadow minister Cecil Zvidzai, said the industrial action is a clear reflection of the failed policies by the local government ministry.

Political analyst and Zanu-PF member Gadzirai Chirumanzu disagreed saying the problem was brought by MDC-T while it was in the unity government.

He said looking beyond the politics, city councils have to have clear negotiations with the labour force and corporations and come up with a solution.