Mzuzu City Council (MCC) junior staff have refused to return to work six days after they undertook an industrial action against authorities for not paying them for four months.
The employees, including those working in the departments of fire, waste management and engineering, claim that they have not received their salaries since last December.
Spot checks around Mzuzu City yesterday revealed uncollected garbage lying all over as workers were picketing outside the Civic Centre offices.
In an interview, one of the striking staff, who pleaded for anonymity for fear of reprisals, he said they are failing to run their families because the council owes them.
“I am deep into debt to finance my home up-keep. We will not resume work until they pay us our arrears,” he said.
But the woes for the cash-strapped council seem to lie deep, as one of the commercial banks declined its loan application.
The Nation understands that MCC last week applied for a K300 million loan to pay its striking staff.
In an interview yesterday, MCC spokesperson Macdonald Gondwe confirmed the development.
“The bank has since proposed for a K150 million application whose process we have started,” he said.
But Gondwe said they have come up with other strategies, including a task force on funds collection from its clients.
Meanwhile, some of the striking employees interviewed at the civic offices maintained that they will go back to work after being paid their dues. MCC has been facing challenges due to under collection of revenue. The council was expected to locally generate K2 billion annually, but collected K460 million up to date