Harare council lays off over 3 000 workers, with court's backing

2015-08-19 13:42

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Harare – Zimbabwe's Harare City Council has moved 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, reports said on Wednesday.

The council workers are set to receive their letters of termination of contract on Wednesday, the state-controlled Herald newspaper said.

"Council officials are now in the process of coming up with the modalities. They should come up with a plan on who should go first, but the letters will be given to workers today," Deputy Mayor Thomas Muzuva was quoted as saying.

The Harare Municipal Workers Union expressed shock and questioned the criteria used to dismiss such a huge number of workers, according to New Zimbabwe.com.

Tense atmosphere

"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?," the report quoted the union’s executive chairperson, Cosmas Bungu, as saying.

More than 20 000 Zimbabweans from both the private sector and state-owned firms have been fired since the court ruling on July 17.

A News Day report said a tense atmosphere pervaded the city council on Tuesday as reports of the impending job cuts spread following a meeting by the council’s human resources committee.

Zimbabwe's latest wave of job losses have led to renewed anger against President Robert Mugabe's government, which promised at least 2.2 million jobs during its election campaign in 2013.

Mugabe's government last week published a bill seeking to amend the labour law to force employers to pay severance packages to workers fired after the court ruling, and set tougher conditions for future dismissals.

Under the proposed amendments, employers can only dismiss a worker on three months' notice if there is agreement with the employee or if the worker is on a fixed-term contract, otherwise they are obliged to pay retrenchment packages of at least two weeks' salary for every year served.

Mugabe is expected to sign the bill into law soon.

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.