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Zimbabwe Minister Blocks Firing of 3,000 Harare Workers

A vendor carries his goods after he was evicted from the streets by Zimbabwean police in Harare, Wednesday, July, 8, 2015. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Local Government Minister Saviour Kasukuwere has blocked the Harare City Council from firing 3,000 workers saying the local authority’s move was unjustified.

The Harare City Council on Tuesday dismissed 3,000 employees saying it wanted to trim its workforce and expenditure in order to channel resources towards service delivery.

But less than 24 hours after the decision was made, Kasukuwere said the city council’s decision is null and void.

However, Harare Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni said the minister has jumped the gun.

The Harare provincial chairperson of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Eric Murai, released a statement saying his party would not allow the MDC-T-controlled city council to dismiss any employee without severance packages.

Murai said the council’s move to fire the workers without benefits was “arbitrary and insensitive”.

ZimPlus: Minister Kasukuwere Blocks Harare Retrenchments, Wednesday, August 19, 2015
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At the same, the youth wing of the opposition party’s provincial chapter issued another statement calling for the five-year suspension of the Harare mayor, the chairpersons of the council’s human resources, information and finance committees.

The party organ said it has set a up a committee to investigate the goings-on at Town House.

The decision by the Harare City Council to dismiss its workers came just before the Labor Law Amendment Bill that allows workers to get severance packages when dismissed, sailed through parliament Tuesday night.

The bill is now waiting for approval by the Senate before President Robert Mugabe signs it into law.

The Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions say more than 20,000 workers have been affected by the Supreme Court that allows employers to fire their workers on three months’ notice without any severance packages.