Scores of Council workers wives in Mkushi district today besieged Mkushi District Council seeking immediate intervention into the 10 month salary arrears owed to Division 4 council workers.
Spokesperson for the group Albina Mukupa told ZANIS that more than 45 wives of Council workers are demanding immediate intervention from the Local Government Minister to sort out the matter in which their husbands are owed wage arrears.
Mrs Mukupa said that the women were protesting against the Council’s inability to pay their husbands salaries for a long time, charging that this had subjected them to suffering.
She observed that it was even better for the Ministry of Local Government to retrench all Division 4 workers and pay them their dues at once.
She said that the household poverty amongst Division 4 workers families had become unbearable, saying that the workers last received their December 2012 salary in October this year (2013).
Another woman Evelyn Kaoma said that the wives of Council workers could not engage in alternative livelihood such as agriculture as their husbands had not been paid for long time.
Mrs Kaoma said that the women were finding it difficult to cushion the impact of the non-payment of salaries to their husbands, explaining that piece works had become increasingly scarce in the district.
She elaborated that Division 4 Council workers families have been experiencing challenges such as food, children education, as well as assorted debts as a result of the unpaid salary arrears predicament.
Meanwhile, Mkushi Council Secretary Everty Ng’andu acknowledged that the local authority was facing challenges in paying Division 4 salaries via local sources.
Mr Ng’andu said that the Council was hopeful of getting good money from the advertised sale of 59 residential and commercial plots, saying that the issue of salary arrears would be accorded top priority.
He also reiterated the need for Policy Makers to consider the re-introduction of Crop Levy, adding that the Council was likely to continue facing financial problems if Crop Levy was not effected.
More than half of the 111 workers at Mkushi Council are in Division 4 salary scale.