Zanu PF can't solve labour issues

HARARE - Reports coming out of Chitungwiza over circumstances surrounding the dismissal of close to a dozen-and-a-half municipal employees are a sad pointer to what has become a scourge of most local authorities.

As we are made to understand, the group facing dismissal comprises party activists of obscure professional skills who got engaged by Chitungwiza municipality on no other credit than belonging to a political party.

In many cases, government departments have also fallen victim to the same pitiable practice of creating jobs when there are no vacancies at all in order for a political party to ingratiate itself with party activists.

In the end, it is the public who suffer when placements are based solely on political activism rather that ability to acquit oneself with the task that needs accomplishment.

Over time, it has become normal practice that a number of local authorities have assumed the role of “an employer of the last resort” for party activists when good sense and logic demands that people should be employed purely on merit.

Apart from being unethical human resource engagement behaviour, the practice has tended to bloat workforce numbers, putting an unwieldy burden on the ratepayer and at times opening windows for creating ghost workers on the payroll.

The situation in Chitungwiza when municipal employees have to turn to political heavyweights to solve a purely labour issue leaves a very bitter taste in the mouth, when considering the fact that these workers are employed by council and not a political party.

It becomes apparent that some party activists are getting municipal jobs when competent cadres are roaming the streets because they are not connected to people “high up” in whatever party.

There are 17 municipal employees who now accuse top Zanu PF leaders in the Chitungwiza municipality of recommending their dismissal.  

The public in the dormitory town is tempted to question whether this unethical practice of employing party activists instead of skilled and qualified men and women has not acted as an albatross round council’s neck or whether it does not contribute significantly to the near collapse of service delivery systems in Chitungwiza.

The Chitungwiza employees could do themselves a favour by seeking redress for whatever grievances they have against their employer from the Department of Labour and not from Oppah Muchinguri or any other politician.

Labour issues in local authorities are dealt with by relevant ministries not politicians because these issues are outside politicians’ purview.

The sooner the affected employees realise that, the better for others who might invest faith in getting jobs riding on the coattails of political activism. - Staff Writer

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