HomeNewsBindura forced to sell stands for staff salaries

Bindura forced to sell stands for staff salaries


The mining town of Bindura has resorted to selling stands in order to pay its workers who have gone for six months without pay.
Acting mayor Ivory Matanhire confirmed the move saying the municipality was neck deep in debt.
NewsDay reported yesterday that the beleaguered town owed its town clerk Paison Mugogo a whopping $800 000 in salary and allowances arrears after a Labour Court said his dismissal was unlawful.
The town clerk who had been fired two years ago was reinstated on full benefits and the town has to find money to pay him.
According to Matanhire, Bindura receives very little revenue from its 10 000 residents most of whom are unable to pay rates because they have lost their jobs at mines that have either shut down or retrenched its labour force.
Matanhire said the municipality was collecting less than half of its projected monthly revenue from residents while mines, the town’s traditional lifeline, were not operating at full capacity or, in the case of Trojan Mine, have shut down.
The other mines facing viability problems include Ashanti and Freda Rebecca gold mines.
“Presently we employ 363 workers and we are struggling to pay them on time,” Matanhire said. “As a result, we are forced to sell land to private investors as a way of raising money to finance just the salary bill.”
Under normal circumstances, Bindura would collect monthly revenue of $460 000, Matanhire said, but was only recouping about $150 000.
Because of these financial constraints, the town was no longer able to deliver basic services such as water as well as failing to improve roads.
“There are some people who are not paying their rates out of frustration and others who are not paying because they consider themselves the owners of the town, simply because of their political connections. This leaves us in a fix,” Matanhire said.
The Ministry of Local Government has not yet approved the budget for Bindura because it was badly written and full of errors.
“Our budget was full of mistakes and the ministry has said that they are going to come and help us with drafting the proposal. This, of course, has left us with no other source of income save for the few ratepayers who are paying.”
Attempts by the town to force residents to pay rates by disconnecting water supplies were scuttled by a government directive to all local authorities not to do so.

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