By Ed-Grant Ndoza, MANA
Business people in Mzuzu City, Friday displayed rare solidarity with the Mzuzu City Council when they joined hands and cleared all waste which piled up in markets and other strategic public places where people ply their businesses.
Led by renowned businessman, Mwasokwa Kubwanga, the business people mobilized trucks, caterpillars and labour to collect rotten garbage which has not been removed from undesignated disposal places for a period of four weeks, following a strike staged by the council employees.
Random interviews with some of the city’s residents revealed that the piles of garbage were not only an eye sore but also a serious health hazard to them since it was compromising hygiene and sanitation standards thereby putting people at risk of disease outbreaks.
Speaking to journalists, Kubwanga said it was the responsibility of rightful thinking and patriotic people to assist the Council in its endeavors to make the city clean, safe and habitable.
“There are a number of business people in Mzuzu City who can always contribute something towards proper refuse management among other development initiatives in our city, for the good health of the residents,” Kubwanga said.
Mzuzu City Council has since commended the gesture demonstrated by the business community in coming to the rescue of the city which has been weighed down with multiple challenges which affect its operations for satisfactory service delivery.
Public relation officer, McDonald Gondwe said the Council was indebted to the businessmen who appreciated the need for good hygiene and sanitation standards in the city.
Gondwe attributed unattended to piles of garbage with some spilling off to roadsides, to a protracted sit-in by Council employees.
“The council’s resource mobilization challenges have been aggravated by employees’ sit-in which paralyzed its operations including garbage collection,” he said.
Gondwe appealed to other business people, non-governmental organisations and people of goodwill to emulate the gesture set by the business community.
The Council employees downed tools to force their management to honour their four months’ salary arrears, totaling to over K200 million.
According to Gondwe, MCC has a workforce of 360 employees with a monthly wage bill ofK50 million.
Meanwhile, the Council’s Workers Union president, Typen Kamanga has said the industrial action has been called off and workers will resume work on Monday, May 18 since management has pledged to start paying the workers in phases.