Harare council workers demand 500% wage jump, slam city bosses for greed

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By Mary Taruvinga

HARARE City Council workers are demanding a 500 percent salary increment after their bosses’ earnings have been raised by 300 percent.

The city council’s lowest paid worker is earning around $1 000.

Harare Municipal Workers Union executive chairman, Cosmas Bungu said in a statement this past week that the majority of city workers have been condemned to poverty through their tiny wages.

He accused authorities at Town House for doing nothing about the situation.

“Council’s senior management hiked their salaries by 300 percent and it is in accordance with the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the city’s executive and the responsible authorities.

“Therefore, it is only fair that since the executive demands were met, the city should now do the same to their employees in grades 5 to 16 to curb and protect them from the harsh economic instabilities our country is facing by increasing salary by 500 percent,” he said.

Bungu said the current scenario was demotivating and further warned this could worsen the workers’ plight.

“Current situation demotivates workers and does not encourage positive morals among workers who end up being absent from work as they have no money and cannot do their job wholeheartedly, hence we urge council executives to ensure that workers get a living wage.”

Bungu accused the MDC dominated local authority of abandoning the same workers who helped form the main opposition in 1999 with the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions forming the nucleus of the party.

“Salaries have to be above poverty datum line considering that the city leadership comes from a political dispensation formed using workers’ union contributions to Zimbabwe Congress Trade of Unions and was used to kick start MDC.

“…They cannot be seen as failing to recognise workers’ rights with Government now taking the lead on employee remuneration.”

Reports say Town Clerk, Engineer Hosiah Chisango now earns $32 912, including a stationery and education allowance of $2 904.

Further reports say city directors earn between $25 000 and $28 000.

Bungu said while executives get school fee allowances, workers’ children were dropping out of school for failure to meet the fees.

In an interview with, Harare City Council’s corporate communications manager Michael Chideme said he could not comment on the matter as yet.

“Remember the matter has to be tabled before the full council meeting and I can only comment on the issue after this. For now, I’m not at liberty to say anything,” Chideme said.