…as council workers allegedly went on unpronounced strike over lack of protective clothing
Zwnews Chief Correspondent
The Harare Residents Trust (HRT) has sensationally revealed that council workers failed to attend to reported cases of sewer busts as they feared for their own health, owing to lack of protective clothing for use on the job.
HRT says council failed to supply its workers with the required materials such as gloves, gumshoes, and face masks to use during repairing burst sewer pipes.
Apparently, council workers in the Harare Water Department are entitled to two gumboots pairs, three work suits, a pair of gloves and mouth guards at the beginning of every year. However, HRT spokesperson Reginald Muzimu says council failed to provide these important materials resulting in workers boycotting attending to sewer bursts reports from residents.
He says the senior management from the City Health Department and Harare Water recently tried to cover up their neglect of duty by giving the council workers part of their needs which should had been availed at the beginning of the year.
According to Muzimu, sources close to the authorities disclosed that only on Friday 7 September 2018, workers responsible for sewerage were given one pair of work suit each, covering 2017 which means for 2018 they are yet to be given.
He says HRT has consistently rebuked the City of Harare for its neglect of duty by prioritizing luxury over essential service provision.
Muzimu went on to say that there were more than 207 reports made to the local district offices since mid- July 2018 which have been ignored.
“No one in council has bothered to explain that their workers have been on a go-slow during this period over non provision of protective clothing and poor working conditions which led to the outbreak of the deadly cholera in Glen View and Budiriro,” he adds.
The HRT spokesperson called upon the Harare Water and City Health Departments to closely monitor the situation on the ground and to provide all the necessary equipment to the workers, as well responding to reports on burst pipes and sewer timeously.
Be that as it may, the city has been dogged by lack of resources, to effectively carry out its constitutional mandate of ensuring service flawless delivery. This has been further exacerbated by the prevailing economic environment, amid reports of misplaced priorities and corruption.
Though Zwnews.com could not get a comment from the city’s spokesperson Michael Chideme before going to print, he recently told a ‘pirate radio station’ that this is not time for playing the blame game, but time to work together to find a solution to the problem.