The Muchadeyi Masunda-led council said it had discussed the issue of employees who absconded from duty in 2007/8 at several full council meetings and come up with a resolution that the workers must account for their actions.
“It is just unfortunate that some of the employees had become too comfortable thinking they had gotten away with their misconduct and are now seeking shelter in politicians when they know too well that they have not accounted for the work time they stole back then,” said one senior council official.
The workers recently wrote to Zanu-PF secretary for administration Didymus Mutasa claiming that they were being victimised because of their links with the former ruling party.
They alleged that council was targeting 120 municipal cops trained under the national youth service as part of the witch-hunt. Efforts to get a comment from Mutasa were fruitless last week.
Masunda confirmed that council was conducting an enquiry into the conduct of workers who went away without official leave (awol) when the country was experiencing economic difficulties. He said there was nothing irregular about the hearings.
“Several employees went awol during the hyperinflationary period with some going to work in Botswana and South Africa,” Masunda said. “Most of these employees came back when dollarisation was introduced and they demanded and got US dollar salaries, much to the chagrin of loyal employees who stuck with the municipality through thick and thin”.
Masunda said those found on the wrong side of the law would face disciplinary action regardless of their political affiliation. “There is no orchestrated campaign against anyone and we will deal with issues based on their merit,” he said.
The city council last year embarked on a controversy-embroiled human resources audit, which revealed that there were hundreds of ghost workers listed on the council’s payroll.