MUTARE City Council worker, Maxwell Takavingofa Kimbini has been elected the new president of the 8 000-member Zimbabwe Urban Council Workers’ Union (ZUCWU).
Kimbini was elected during an elective congress held in Bulawayo on Tuesday night. He takes over from former Chitungwiza Municipality employee, Miriam Chitsa who retired from the local authority.
Beitbridge Municipality worker Precious Mukwena was elected deputy president, while former trustee and Gweru chapter chairperson Kudakwashe Munengiwa was voted secretary-general.
Hwange Municipality employee Sabina Kumwenda will deputise Munengiwa. Edmund Chatira from Kwekwe Municipality was elected treasurer with Tongai Kuzorahunye being elected trustee.
Speaking to NewsDay on the sidelines of the congress, Kimbini said his vision was to reverse the “wage theft” by urban councils.
“We have serious wage theft in this country in as far as local authority workers in urban areas are concerned. This is done through non-payment of agreed wages and salaries.
Workers are being paid amounts that are far below the poverty datum line and so this is the war I will lead from the front to ensure descent salaries are paid to our members,” he said.
Kimbini said salaries of urban council workers had been eroded by over 250% following the devaluing of the bond notes currency.
“Accordingly, we must see significant salary increases in line with the percentage taken away. That is a serious matter for me and my new team,” he said.
Munengiwa said the union will address the victimisation of branch leadership.
Collective bargaining rights, gratuity, long service awards and pensions for local authority workers are some of the issues the new ZUCWU leadership pledged to work on.