……allege ‘management hired people from Harare’
Members of Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) staged a protest outside OK supermarket along 6th Avenue and Lobengula Street, popularly known as Egodini on Wednesday, alleging the company’s management recruited people from outside Matabeleland a few weeks ago.
The exercise, which lasted about 30 minutes brought to halt customers and people who were going about their normal business, as MRP members perched themselves outside the supermarket’s premises and held handwritten placards.
Some of the placards were written ‘Bulawayo jobs for local people,’ ‘Shutdown OK,’ ‘No to Tribalism’ as the MRP members denounced OK’s alleged unfair job recruitment process.
Staff from OK supermarket were surprised by the happenings and only watched in silence.
In an interview with CITE, MRP’s Communications Officer, Velile Moyo, said the party recently wrote a letter to the OK management, asking them to review the manner in which they had carried out their recruitment process.
“The company recently recruited seven new staff members and only two of them were people from Matabeleland. Did they fail to find capable locals that they had to bring in workers from Harare? What we did today is the first phase. We were here to show OK management that we were serious when we expressed our concern in the letter we wrote,” he said.
Moyo noted that the economic situation was bad for everyone in the country, which was why locals had to benefit from local opportunities.
“This protest is a sign that we mean business. If they do not address our concerns soon enough we’ll be back here again. Devolution should not be used as a tool for campaigning but we need it to be exercised throughout,” he said.
MRP has over time grown a reputation for challenging practices by various stakeholders, who they feel sideline people of Matabeleland from benefiting from local resources and opportunities.
Rodney Ncube, a member of the party, added that “Bulawayo people” were constantly denied opportunities to work in local companies.
“When people bring in businesses to the city they must pay back to the community by creating jobs for locals. It makes no sense for a big company such as OK to have more employees that come from outside the city.
“Local people are the ones who buy from these shops and it’s only fair that locals be employed in these places too. We have enough qualified and experienced people in Bulawayo and Matabeleland to work in these companies,” he pointed out.