By Ronald Chuma
Mass exodus of workers at City of Gweru is threatening the smooth flow of operations, with mostly frontline workers leaving for greener pastures outside the country.
So far this year, more than 30 employees who include nurses and Fire fighters have left the local authority to join better paying jobs in Europe, South Africa and the Middle East.
Some employees who have worked for the city for more than 10 years are going to work for other utilities offering better pay and benefits, which leaves council without some of its most experienced workers. The volunteer fire fighters who have remained are dangerously under-trained and lack the required experience needed,” said a source.
Recently 11 senior firefighters left the local authority and 6 more tendered their resignation letters last month leaving the city in the hands of mostly volunteer fire-fighters.
Mayor Cllr Josiah Makombe confirmed the sad development saying council was in a process of recruiting replacements for the staff members who have left the local authority. “We have a challenge in the fire and health departments as more and more employees are resigning frequently. We recently came up with a training program for volunteer fire fighters in which the first crew will be graduating in three months’ time,” he said.
Cllr Makombe said the reasons why experienced Fire fighters are resigning from the Fire department is because of the quality service they were providing, which is of world class.
“Our experienced Fire fighters are resigning in numbers because of the lucrative packages people are being offered in Saudi Arabia. It is also because of the depth and experience our fire fighters got here in Gweru that is making them a target,” he added.
Council has already transcribed to the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing for approval to employ more fire fighters from other local councils and private organization to blend the fire department.