By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
8 July 2014
Public Service and Labour Minister Nicholas Goche was expected to hold crisis talks with workers’ representatives of Chitungwiza town council and its management team in a bid to reach an amicable solution to stop the ongoing strike.
Councillor Phillip Mutoti, the Mayor of Chitungwiza, confirmed the talks which he said were aimed at ending the strike that started on Friday last week. Council workers downed tools after going for nearly a year without being paid their salaries.
Mutoti warned that the unsanitary conditions in Chitungwiza are a time bomb as it can lead to the outbreak of epidemics such as typhoid and cholera.
‘The purpose of the meeting is to address the current strike by workers that has affected service delivery,’ Mutoti said. He said the crisis talks will be held at Goche’s office in the capital.
Arthur Taderera, director of the Chitungwiza Residents and Ratepayers Association, said the industrial action has worsened the challenges facing the town. He said the sanitation and hygienic conditions leave much to be desired and the situation has woefully deteriorated in the last year.
Taderera said residents now complain of the filth and pungent smell from piles of uncollected garbage and raw sewage that flows through their streets. He claimed the problems were triggered by the constant interference of the Local government ministry led by Minister Ignatius Chombo.
On Monday management enlisted the help of anti-riot police to quell the volatile situation as rowdy employees blocked residents from paying rates.
The workers have vowed not to go back to work until management pays them outstanding salaries and allowances amounting to $13 million accrued over 13 months.