‘Slash managers allowances’

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Local Government deputy minister Sesel Zvidzai yesterday ordered local authorities to slash senior managers’ hefty allowances in line with a Local Government Board (LGB) directive last year.

This comes at a time Harare City councillors are demanding senior managers’ salaries and perks be made public.

Zvidzai said most local authorities had defied the order and continued to bleed council coffers by claiming bulky allowances at the expense of service delivery.

There has been an outcry in Harare over reports town clerk Tendai Mahachi was pocketing about $22 000 per month, most of which was in allowances.

Other senior managers at Town House pocket up to $15 000 per month at a time service delivery is crumbling across the country’s local authorities.

This was in defiance of the Urban Councils Act which stipulates councils use 30% of the revenue for staff salaries while 70% is channelled towards service delivery.

However, most local authorities’ wage bills are gobbling over 70% of council revenues meant for service delivery.

Zvidzai said the LGB met recently and resolved to scrap off most allowances awarded to senior council officials including town clerks.

“They were getting an array of allowances most of them ridiculous allowances including entertainment, domestic workers allowances, holiday allowances and a lot of other allowances.

“I am told the board has reduced them to three only,” Zvidzai said.

Part of a circular issued after the meeting read:“ . . . the board passed resolution number 12 of 2011 adopting that (1) salaries of the town clerk and secretaries are as follows according to categories:

“Category 1 Harare City Council basic salary $5 500, (b) Bulawayo $5 000 (c) Mutare, Gweru, Kwekwe, Kadoma and Masvingo $3 500. Category 2:

Bindura, Chinhoyi, Chegutu, Marondera, Gwanda, Chitungwiza, Kariba, Victoria Falls, Redcliff $3 000. Category 3 (town councils):

Norton, Rusape, Karoi, Zvishavane, Shurugwi, Plumtree, Chiredzi, Chipinge, Beitbridge, Gokwe and Ruwa Local Board $2 000. Category 4:

Hwange, Epworth, Chirundu, Lupane, Mvurwi $1 500.”
Despite the LGB decision, the local authorities are reportedly acting in defiance of the circular ordering them to embrace the new salary scales.