Bulawayo blames government for failure to pay workers

BULAWAYO City Council workers have not been paid their salaries for this month, with the local authority blaming a government directive to write off debts dating back to 2009, for its empty coffers.

Report by Blondie Ndebele

Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo ordered the country’s 92 local authorities to write off bills that accrued between February 2009 and June 30 this year.

Residents have reportedly stopped paying bills to the local authority, resulting in council revenue collections declining by 65%.

Zimbabwe Urban Councils Workers’ Union secretary-general Nkosiyabo Masuku said council workers had not been paid this month’s salaries due on August 21.

“The directive has had quite a huge impact on the salaries,” he said. “Our expectations are that when we work we get paid and as of now, workers have not received any salaries for this month.”

Masuku said residents were not paying any single cent of their bills, resulting in the delays in the workers’ salaries and other services that will affect council’s operations.

“As a union, we are not doing anything yet about this. We hope that the organisation will pay us on time for the services we render.”

Masuku encouraged residents to pay their bills so that the local authority could operate efficiently and deliver better services to customers.

A number of local authorities, including Bulawayo council, have complied with the government directive, saying the new figures will start showing on the bills residents will receive this month.

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