HWANGE Rural District Council has finally paid workers it owed large sums of money backdated to about four months.
The council has not been paying workers citing financial constraints, leading to a row erupting between the management and councillors over the exploitation of resources in the district without council benefiting financially.
One of such projects was the exploitation of sand and quarry for the construction of the Victoria Falls Airport, which was not being paid for.
The anomaly was discovered when councillors were looking into ways of collecting revenue to pay the workers. However, yesterday the council’s deputy chairperson Matthew Muleya confirmed that the workers had been paid some of their money.
“They were paid,” he said.
“We managed to source funds to pay them. In fact, they were paid before Christmas and they went home happy.”
Muleya said they were now left with a salary backlog of just two months and they hoped to clear it soon.
“We are looking forward to finding ways of making our employees happy by paying them their dues,” he said.
“You know employees won’t perform well if they are not paid well.
“That will compromise service delivery. We should make sure that they are happy to move things forward.”
Turning to the airport project, he said the issue was resolved amicably.
“We have agreed as stakeholders that we meet and discuss the issue,” he said. “Very soon, council will be getting revenue from the exploitation of the sand and quarry for the airport project.”
The airport project had created a rift between councillors and the management. The tug of war started after the staff confronted management over non-payment of salaries, leading to councillors questioning the exploitation of resources in the district without any revenue being generated and the issue of the Victoria Falls Airport took centre stage.
Truckloads of pit sand and quarry were being conveyed from Sidobe Ward in Victoria Falls to build the 4km runway managed by the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe, but the community and the council, which has jurisdiction over the area were getting nothing out of it.