Home » General » Chitungwiza Blames Dark Forces for Crippling Strike

THE ONGOING job action by more than 2,000 Chitungwiza Town council workers spilled into its fourth day Tuesday amid claims by some disgruntled workers they have now been blacklisted by their landlords for being hopelessly bankrupt.

The beleaguered authority now owes its workforce $8 million in unpaid wages running over a year’s period.

Since the strike Friday, hundreds of the town’s workers have thronged the town’s head office demanding action from their employer. The workers have vowed to continue with the strike until they were paid their dues.

“We are not going back on the strike until we get our dues,” fumed one worker, who claimed to have served the authority for 15 years.

“We are prepared even to sleep here. We want the authorities to see that they are ill treating us. We can no longer pay our rentals, fees for our children and even meet medical bills. We are struggling.”

“If you look for a house to rent and say you are a council employee, they will not give you accommodation. In fact we have been black listed. We cannot even borrow from anyone even the credit shops,” said another depressed worker.

But under-fire Chitungiwza Town Clerk, George Makunde saw the strike as something far beyond mere protests over unpaid wages.

“What we have picked from our sources is that this strike is no longer a strike for the non-payment of salaries,” he told NewZimbabwe.com Tuesday.

“There are other people and organisations which have infiltrated the job action who want me to be fired so that their shoddy deals are covered up.

“These people are fighting me and the council on the housing demolitions issue we are pursuing so that sanity prevails in the town.”

The dormitory town has seen the recent demolition of structures built on undesignated land. The destruction has been ordered by the local government ministry.

Makunde continued: “So I am very confident that these groups and individuals who were in the council and created the mess are poking their noses into the strike, influencing workers to continue with the strike.

“Their mission now is not for the workers to get their outstanding salaries but to get Makunde out of office.”

The strike has paralysed operations in a town reeling under a $50 million debt with unsightly mounds of uncollected garbage now dominating street corners.

Source : New Zimbabwe

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