New vehicles for council management spark outrage

Council workers today downed tools demanding an explanation for the purchase of four new top of the range vehicles for managers while they have not yet received their outstanding bonuses from last year.

George Jerrison
George Jerrison

The workers said they wanted a host of their grievances to be solved before they go back to work. They accused council of not remitting funds for medical aid, funeral policy and pension fund.

Zimbabwe Urban Councils Workers Union chairman for Mutare Chapter, Baya Musa told The Zimbabwean that they were forced to embark on industrial action after the management reneged on it`s promise to pay the outstanding December 13th cheque- but managed to purchase luxury vehicle for management.

"The matter was referred to Labour court for arbitration and the council agreed to stagger the amount from February, March and April according to grades. But to date nothing has materialised," said Musa.

"Our members are failing to access basic service such as health and funeral assistance because council is not remitting the funds," he said.

"If there is no money to pay our bonuses where is the money to buy these expensive Prado`s coming from?," queried Musa.

The workers showed The Zimbabwean one of the Prados parked at the VIP car park. Musa said the council owed workers a total of $500 000 in outstanding bonuses.

Irate workers had no kind words for acting MDC-T mayor George Jerrison whom they accused of conniving with management to loot council resources while workers are living in abject poverty.

Jerrison is fingered among the MDC-T councilors who connived with the management to topple democratically elected mayor councilor Brian James by issuing a false report to Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo.

Workers said James was suspended for exposing corruption and underhand deals at the local authority.

"They suspended mayor James because they wanted to connive to buy top of the range cars whilst we are suffering. It`s not fair that someone is getting a loan to buy a Prado whilst they are failing to pay me my $400 bonus," said one of the protesters.

Workers said they wanted the MDC-T leadership to take action against acting mayor Jerrison for his conduct. Efforts to get comment from Jerrison were fruitless as he was holed up in his office at the Civic centre.

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