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    Sunday, 27 August 2017

    Chiredzi Town Council fails to pay workers for 6 months

    MORRIS BISHI
    CHIREDZI BUREAU

    CHIREDZI – Chiredzi Town Council which is considered to be among the fairly rich local authorities in the country because of the disposable cash available from the giant sugar milling Tongaat Hullet has gone for six months without paying its strong workforce their salaries.
    Workers committee chairman, John Mtetwa confirmed the development and said council has not paid salaries since February and added that workers were currently expecting to receive their March 2017 salaries. Mtetwa complained that life had become hard for workers who cannot pay their rentals, school fees, buy food for families and get money for transport to go to work.
    "We are living in abject poverty as a result of the salaries situation.
    "We have not been paid our salaries for the last six months and are only expecting the March salaries in the next few weeks. We are living under very difficult circumstances and we are calling for intervention from higher authorities. We have been engaging our employer on a daily basis but we don't seem to see any improvement," said Mtetwa.
    Asked for comment, Chiredzi town Secretary, Charles Muchatukwa blamed the situation on residents who are not paying their bills in time and this was affecting cash inflows. Council is owed over $3m in unpaid bills by businesspeople and residents, he said.
    "I am not too sure of the length of the period that we owe the workers as I am out of office attending a workshop. I can only furnish you with the details when I get back to the office," said Muchatukwa.
    Chiredzi Residents and Ratepayers Association Chairperson Jonathan Muusha Mupamombe said one of the reasons why residents are not happy is the council's billing system. He also said that there was a court case between the business community and council which is playing into the situation.
    He said there is need for a combined campaign between council and the residents association to urge residents to settle their rates. 
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