Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo has ruled out any increase in councillors allowances arguing the city fathers were not elected to make money, but to serve the people in their respective areas.
The move has set Chombo and Local Government deputy minister Sesel Zvidzai on yet another collision course after the latter wrote the minister last year arguing it was important to revise the allowances to curb possibilities of corruption.
But Chombo said: I never saw the letter, but thats (increasing allowances) not possible. Workers get $200 for a month and they (councillors) want to get $500 in two days, then naturally it shows they want to milk councils. Councillorship is not a job.
He added: These people (councillors) never pass resolutions on streetlights, traffic congestion, refuse, but they pass resolutions that are self-serving.
Have you ever heard a special budget to focus on service delivery, clean water systems, among other things? About their money, yes, (about) the peoples needs no.
However, Zvidzai shot back: Increasing to anything close to $500 will not impact on the cost line.
It will motivate the councillors.
There is belief that councillors are part-time officials which belief was borrowed from the colonial time. Lets not remain colonial in our mindsets. They have a lot to do in policymaking, and the world over, councillors are remunerated.
Councillors have accused Chombo of seeking to demoralise them and finding fault to justify suspending them. Since 2009, Chombo has suspended and fired dozens of MDC-T councillors accusing them of corruption.
Most of the councillors were, however, exonerated by the courts, but the minister has appealed against the rulings blocking their readmission.