Councils to retrench 190 workers

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Chinhoyi Municipality will retrench 120 employees to cut on its wage bill which is reportedly gobbling 77% of monthly revenue inflows.

The local authority has a total workforce of 370 employees.

The job rationalisation exercise expected to start in August would target over 120 non-critical workers in all departments.

Chamber secretary Abel Gotora told a recent finance committee meeting: The issue of the wage bill has been discussed since 2007.

It has remained high and shall remain high whilst the revenue base has remained static. The wage bill will remain high until such a time that we reduce our manpower, therefore, there is no way that it can be reduced besides retrenching.

Gotora said council had applied for borrowing powers to secure $3 million for the massive job cuts this year.

Council sources said the cash crunch at the municipality owing to a blotted payroll made it difficult to meet the residents and ratepayers expectations in terms of service delivery.

Councillors have accused their Zanu PF predecessors of forcing the local authority to employ the former ruling party supporters, thereby bloating the local authoritys wage bill.

Gotora said streamlining the workforce would enable the allotment of more resources towards service delivery.

In January, residents protested over poor service delivery and mismanagement at the municipality.
Meanwhile, employees at Kadoma Marketing (Kama), a subsidiary of Kadoma Municipality, are also set to lose their jobs after the local authority announced its intention to wind up operations.

Kama, in charge of the townstraditional beer outlets mostly in the high-density areas, will cease operations today and all outlets will be leased out to private players. Mayor Peter Matambo said council had agreed to shed off the loss-making arm as it was draining the local authoritys coffers.

We are going to lease out all the beerhalls and bottle stores which were being run by Kama to cut down on non-core business and to ensure that money paid towards rates is not channelled to beerhalls, Matambo said.

Council said it would be retrenching the entire Kama workforce and would use money raised from tenders and leasing the premises to meet the workers retrenchment packages and perks.

Kama was operating six beerhalls and expects to raise $36 000 from security deposits from interested bidders keen to lease the council beerhalls.

But, Councillor Bothwell Pasipamire said: We should have borrowed money from the bank to pay the packages, then repay the loan from the money raised from the tender process, lease agreements and monthly rentals.

However, Matambo said leasing out the properties was the only way as it would ensure guaranteed funds into council coffers monthly.

At least now we know council will be getting a fixed income from its properties every month instead of taking money from the rates hall to fund non-performing beerhalls, he said.