Harare City Council Dismisses 3000 Workers

The Harare City Council has laid off about 3000 workers on three months’ notice.

The dismissals come at a time the legislature is in the process of amending the Labour Act.

Sources close to the Harare City Council say the Finance and Human Resources committees met on Monday and agreed that 3000 workers should be laid off.

The documents are said to have been signed by Deputy Mayor, Councillor Thomas Muzuva as the Mayor, Councillor Bernard Manyenyeni is out of the country.

This Tuesday the city fathers had marathon meetings to discuss technical issues which include the dismissal criteria.

Harare Municipal Workers Union Executive Chairman, Cosmas Bungu expressed shock and is questioning the criteria being used to dismiss such a big number of workers.

“Yes, we have been informed that workers are going to be sent home. Last year, the council laid off workers and they re- employed them, are we going to see a repetition of such an unfair practice?,” he said.

The Harare City Council is not the only entity trying to beat the parliamentary process of amending the Labour Act on retrenchment as other companies such as Toyota Zimbabwe, TM and Turnall among others are rushing to dismiss workers.

Renowned labour expert, Rodgers Matsikidze is of the view that the mass terminations are actually creating a liability for government as more people will be in need of social services while revenue collection would dwindle.

“What is happening is what I call unfortunate, it shows some sense of immorality, in labour we know tripatism where three parties come together to discuss, but that is not happening and it’s regrettable,” he said.

With the dismissal of 3000 workers from the Harare City Council, the number of employees who have lost their jobs since the landmark Supreme Court ruling on the 17th of July 2015 is now above 22 000.

As at Friday the 14th of August, the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) put the figure of retrenched workers at 16 700 while the Zimbabwe Federation of Trade Unions (ZFTU) put the number of at 19 000.