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Badilisha Lugha KISWAHILI

Dar municipal director locked out of office for five hours

15th May 2012
Ilala municipality’s militiamen and women in Dar es Salaam block the entry to municipal director Gabriel Fuime’s office yesterday in a bid to lock him out of office following their longstanding demand for work contracts and their salary arrears. (Photo: Omar Fungo)

A Group of at least 100 militias yesterday locked Ilala Municipal Director Gabriel Fuime out of his office for about five hours to put pressure on the municipality to meet their demands of unpaid dues and unlawful retrenchment plan.
The militias gathered at the entrance of the director’s office around 5am and stayed there until 11am, during which neither their employer, Fuime, nor other employees managed to break their way in.

One of the militias, identified as Barnabas Mtumbuka, said they were against a looming plan to retrench them being crafted by municipal officials, including Fuime, before paying their rightful dues.

“We have come here today from around 5am to pressurize the director to attend to our claims,” he stressed. He said they were against an unlawful attempt by the Municipal to lay them off without following proper procedures.

According to Mtumbuka, information had it that the Authority planned to notify them on their retrenchment through notice boards, something which he said was contrary to labour laws and regulations.

He listed claims which were still due ahead of the controversial retrenchment plan as contributions to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF), overtime and annual leave allowances, transport allowances and accumulated salaries.

Acting Ilala district commissioner Jordan Rugimbana was forced to intervene to end the five-hour stand-off that paralyzed activities at the local authority’s office during yesterday's morning hours.

He appealed to the militias to let the director in so that they could discuss the matter inside the authority’s office compounds.

During an audience with the militias later in the afternoon, Fuime acknowledged to have received their complaints, but said efforts were being made to address them. He informed them that the regional government had already formed a committee to investigate into the matter.

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