“Nhasi Shabanie Yakadzora Mwando!”

Since time immemorial, the Shona-speaking peoples of Zimbabwe have used the above phrase when referencing to a tricky scenario and, in a way befitting the above vernacular expression, press reports in Zimbabwe indicate that some 26 Zvishavane Town Council workers from the health department have downed their tools citing non-payment of Covid-19 allowances.

Shabanie is the Rhodesian name for the sleepy Midlands mining town.

The regional Mirror newspaper reported that the striking council workers have not been paid since January 2022.

It is reported that the workers were supposed to be paid US$30 Covid19 allowances on January 22, 2022 and the money is still pending.

However, according to Acting Town Secretary, Mungororo Mazai, council cannot pay the health department employees since Government is also paying them the same allowance.

This, Mazai said, was akin to double-dipping.

As the Mirror reported, the labour resentment saw council ambulance being parked at the Zimpost office without a driver on Tuesday with garbage vehicles parked at town house with the workers out of sight.

Public toilets in populous Mandava neighborhood also went uncleaned.

According to reports, what angered the workers more is that their case has been postponed four times at the Labour Court and they suspect foul play.

The case was supposed to be heard on April 29, 2022, then the date was moved to May 4 because council management was at the Zimbabwe International Trade Fair. On May 4 Labour officials were not available and the case was moved to May 10 but Labour officials were again unavailable.

The next date is now May 24, 2022, as per Mirror.