Mzuzu City Council sit-ins persist under new management

By Zenak Matekenya, MANA

It never rains but pours for Mzuzu City Council management following a new sit-in by its workers, who are demanding for their three months unpaid salaries.

After a wave of sit-ins over the same unpaid salaries since last year, there was hope that things would change for the better following transfer of the then Chief Executive Officer (CEO), McCloud Kadammanja and dismissal of Finance Director and Procurement Officer deemed to be at the centre of mismanagement of funds.

Kamanga addressing the workers

However, on Monday the Council workers put down their tools and verbally attacked new management after it failed to honour its commitment to start paying three months’ salary arrears last week.

The Workers Union president, Taipeni Kamanga described the management as disrespectful and the one that does not care about people’s welfare.

“We had a meeting with management last week where it agreed to pay junior workers while waiting for other funds to pay the remaining workers,” he said.

“But since Wednesday last week, nobody has received a salary which means management is disrespectful and doesn’t care about workers who are suffering.”

Sealed office for CEO

Kamanga said the workers would stop the sit-in when all the arrears are paid and all directors are removed from the Council.

The council’s spokesperson, McDonald Gondwe said the issue would be handled administratively.

“We will provide an official position of the Council when management meets,” he said.

Coronavirus alert

Gondwe said the sit-in would paralyze their operations in terms of waste management and revenue collection and other services people of Mzuzu City would need from the Council.

He said the K180 million loan the Council applied from First Discount Bank (FDH) meant to cater for the workers grievances was approved and is yet to be in the council’s coffers.