The human resources committee of the Harare City Council has given the management at Town House a week’s ultimatum to provide details of the council’s salary structure.
Councillors say the schedule will help them redress the salaries issue at Town House.
The chairman of the human resources and general purposes committee, Councillor Panganayi Charumbira, yesterday said his committee was going to meet to deliberate officially on the salaries issue.
Charumbira said they were currently studying the legal implications and had sought legal advice on how to deal with the issue of high salaries paid to senior council staff.
“We gave council management the ultimatum pertaining to salaries and we want the salary schedule to be with us by the first week of September. If there are legal implications, we will seek legal advice on the matter,” he said. “We want to have the payroll and ascertain what council workers are getting and if there is a need to slash (the salaries), then we will seek legal advice on whether to cut the salaries (or not),” he said.
“We want clarity on this matter and the ultimatum we have given council has to be taken seriously,” he said.
The Harare City Council management has kept salaries a closely guarded secret but documents obtained by NewsDay recently indicate that the highest paid employee, town clerk Tendai Mahachi, earns close to $15 000 a month.
However, Harare mayor Muchadeyi Masunda insists the government-recommended ratio of 70%-30% between service delivery and salaries was not practical given the fact that council was owed close to $132 million by government, residents and satellite towns. Last week councillors lashed out at management for concealing the council’s payroll.
Councillors accused management of being greedy.Residents have also angrily criticised the municipality’s management over the huge salaries and have threatened to boycott paying rates.
“The City of Harare should make the necessary adjustments to its huge salary bill, in line with the government’s directive,” read the residents’ statement.
“Failure by the City of Harare to heed this call, the Harare Residents’ Trust (HRT) will be left with no option but to mobilise residents against undue exploitation by an elite class managing public resources at Town House. One of the options is for residents, business and industry to delay payment every month until service delivery really improves,” HRT said.