Zim minister moves to stop Harare council sackings
Harare – Zimbabwe's local government, public works and national housing minister Saviour Kasukuwere has moved to stop the Harare City Council from its plan to fire over 3 000 workers, media reports said on Thursday.
The City of Harare indicated this week it intended to lay off over 3 000 workers in line with the country’s Supreme Court ruling last month that gave employers the leeway to terminate job contracts by giving employees just three months’ notice.
At least 20 000 Zimbabweans from both the private sector and state-owned firms have been fired since the court ruling on July 17.
Zimbabwe’s lower house of parliament on Tuesday approved a bill making it harder to fire workers. President Robert Mugabe is expected to sign the bill into law soon.
Kasukuwere said the Harare council, which is run by the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Morgan Tsvangirai, could not fire the workers when government and parliament were in the process of rectifying the labour amendment bill, the state-owned Herald newspaper reported.
"We cannot have 3 000 workers being fired at once... I am surprised that the City of Harare has moved in that direction. If they had come to my office, I could not have accepted that," Kasukuwere was quoted as saying.
According to New Zimbabwe.com, the minister said he would only support plans aimed at revamping the city.
"We don't want to create chaos. We only will support strategies for the turnaround of the city. Unless they give me valid reasons, Kasukuwere said.
Kasukuwere's ministry oversees local authorities.