More than 1 000 Chitungwiza municipal workers at the weekend invaded Mhundwa village under Manyame Rural District Council and started pegging themselves stands in pastures and fields in protest against the refusal by their employer to allocate them housing stands.
The workers accused their bosses of gross incompetence by turning a blind eye to activities of land barons while failing to provide them with residential stands.
They also demanded the firing of the entire Chitungwiza municipality management. Chitungwiza municipality workers union president Mr Ephraim Katsinha said the workers decided to take matter into their own hands after their plea for residential stands appeared to have fallen on deaf ears.
“We have approached our employer several times over the years, to request for a residential stands for our members to no avail,” he said.
“What is painful is that some workers have been working for this council for over 30 years but don’t even own a house. They are turning a blind eye to the activities of land barons who are taking up large tracts of land under council’s jurisdiction without any benefit accruing to it,” he said.
On why they had decided to grab land, which falls under another local authority, Mr Katsinha said it was a protest strategy to make their grievances heard.
Chitungwiza mayor Councillor Lovemore Maiko called on the workers to follow proper channels when airing their grievances.
“We are yet to obtain the details on this land invasion in Manyame by our workers. However it must be noted that we are a law-abiding entity and we operate and do our things within the confines of the law at any level of the council,” he said.
Manyame rural district council ward one councillor Mr Blessing Tangwara said the invasion was reported to the police.
Harare metropolitan provincial development coordinator, Mr Tafadzwa Muguti, who officiated at the ground breaking ceremony of Chitungwiza council’s town house yesterday, called on the council to address the issues raised by its workers.