Un­paid ZimParks work­ers get salaries af­ter 5 years

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Whins­ley Masara

ZIM­BABWE Parks and Wildlife Managa­ment Au­thor­ity (ZimParks) em­ploy­ees, who had not been paid in five years, have started re­ceiv­ing out­stand­ing salaries.

Min­is­ter of En­vi­ron­ment, Wa­ter and Cli­mate Op­pah Muchin­guri-Kashiri said con­tract work­ers were owed wages of up to five years, while per­ma­nent em­ploy­ees had gone un­paid for six months.

“We’re pay­ing out all owed wages and have so far man­aged to pay up salaries for up to four months. Once an em­ployee goes for this long with­out get­ting any earn­ings, they fall prey to temp­ta­tion re­sult­ing in con­stant cases of cor­rup­tion that we’re talk­ing about on a daily ba­sis.

“Work­ing as a team with my board mem­bers, we’ve man­aged to slowly rec­tify a lot of things that were in bad shape. Ev­ery em­ployee needs mo­ti­va­tion for them to de­liver their du­ties with ut­most ded­i­ca­tion and hon­esty,” she said.

Min­is­ter Muchin­guri-Kashiri said she is happy to have been in­volved in im­prov­ing the liveli­hoods of hun­dreds of work­ers, putting a smile on their faces as they re­ceived what they were owed.

“We’ve run­ning bat­tles with poach­ers on a daily ba­sis and it’s be­yond doubt that in some cases, it is our very own hun­gry em­ploy­ees in the poach­ing es­capades. There­fore, we saw it fit to im­me­di­ately make ways of pay­ing up what is owed.

“While our rangers were de­ployed into the bushes, their fam­i­lies were strug­gling to sus­tain a liv­ing with many of them hav­ing their chil­dren scat­tered all over dif­fer­ent com­mu­ni­ties,” she said. Min­is­ter Muchin­guri-Kashiri said such a sce­nario is bad as it ex­poses chil­dren to abuse. “Th­ese peo­ple also didn’t have clin­ics, had poor hous­ing struc­tures with­out elec­tric­ity, poor roads, no ve­hi­cles and wa­ter sources near them, with them hav­ing to walk very long dis­tances to ob­tain those fa­cil­i­ties. “As a min­istry, we’ve said ‘no’ to that and would want them to have proper liv­ing con­di­tions like those stan­dards at po­lice and army in­sti­tu­tions. We’ve come up with plans of build­ing crèches and schools at Na­tional Parks camps and even a board­ing school like with the po­lice,” said the Min­is­ter. She said ZimParks was cre­at­ing a con­ducive work­ing en­vi­ron­ment for em­ploy­ees with the in­ten­tion of bring­ing them at par with other gov­ern­ment em­ploy­ees. “We have ac­quired snif­fer dogs which are cur­rently in train­ing to make the rangers’ job a lot eas­ier. The rangers will also be sup­plied with drones, mo­tor bikes, pro­tec­tive shoes, cars and a lot more ac­ces­sories. “We have ar­ranged for sport­ing ac­tiv­i­ties be­tween ZimParks and their nearby com­mu­ni­ties to cre­ate mu­tual un­der­stand­ing and strengthen their re­la­tion­ships.” Hwange Ru­ral Dis­trict Coun­cil Deputy Chair­per­son Coun­cil­lor Matthew Mu­leya ex­pressed grat­i­tude for the de­vel­op­ments ini­ti­ated by the min­is­ter and her board. “On be­half of em­ploy­ees, we ap­pre­ci­ate the min­is­ter’s ef­forts in de­vel­op­ing our liveli­hoods. Hun­dreds of em­ploy­ees are all smiles af­ter re­ceiv­ing their owed salaries and wages and we hope this will stay like this. “It’s al­ways good to feel ap­pre­ci­ated for ser­vices ren­dered. Ev­ery worker needs to be mo­ti­vated and con­sid­er­ing we do a dif­fi­cult and risky job of guard­ing wildlife which is one of the coun­try’s eco­nomic pil­lars, we re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate the min­is­ter’s ef­forts,” said Clr Mu­leya.— @ win­nie_­masara.

CID drugs sec­tion de­tec­tives Con­sta­ble Netty Mut­sengi (left) and De­tec­tive Sergeant Vukani Nde­bele look at a re­cov­ered con­sign­ment of mbanje at Drill Hall in Bu­l­awayo last week. Three sus­pects were ar­rested in con­nec­tion with the find which have a street value of $86,000

Min­is­ter Op­pah Muchin­guri-Kashiri

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