By Bulawayo Correspondent
THE newly appointed Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Zimbabwe president Xolani Tshuma has come-out guns blazing accusing the MDC-T led Bulawayo City Council (BCC) of failing to address and end the ongoing strike by its workers.
The industrial action by municipality workers over poor salaries has seriously crippled some critical services in the city such as access to health services, refuse collection and burials.
Tshuma also took a swipe at the city’s fathers for failing to fix the city’s perennial water shortages, which have seen residents in some suburbs going for months without tap water.
THE BCC employees last Wednesday this week embarked on an in definite industrial action demanding living wage monthly salaries based on the poverty datum line pegged at $20 000.
The disgruntled workers maintain their job action would continue until their salaries issue is resolved.
However, Tshuma it was unacceptable to the council employees to engage in work stoppage when the city is grappling with the Covid-19 pandemic, which has seen cases surging in recent days.
“We have a situation where city council employees have downed tools and this has already caused adverse effects on the citizens. The water provision to the suburbs that were supplied by bowsers has been interrupted and this means the residents will have to endure long periods of water shedding. This is unacceptable under the Covid-19 pandemic,” he told NewZimbabwe.com.
“We as EFF Zimbabwe strongly condemn this unreasonable action by the employees of the local authority. This is a result of under delivery by the MDC-T councillors. We call upon the councillors to speedily rectify this situation.”
Tshuma also accused the city’s town clerk, Christopher Dube and his directors of dereliction of duty.
“The town clerk is letting the residents of the City of Kings down. He is also letting the employees down. As the EFF, we are ready to defend the people’s rights which include provision of water and basic services like refuse collection which might expose residents to other diseases like cholera, typhoid and gastrointestinal diseases on top of the current pandemic.”
He urged the MDC-T to prioritise the welfare of the residents ahead of political grandstanding.
“Political parties’ interests should not supersede residents’ rights. We, therefore, take the MDC-T national leadership to task for failing to supervise it’s councillors to perform. Service delivery is a basic right for residents,” he added.
Tshuma took over the party’s presidency at the end of last year from founding president Innocent Ndibali who voluntarily stepped down citing other business commitment. Ndibali had been at the helm of the political party since its formation four years ago.