LOCAL Government minister Ignatius Chombo has threatened not to pass the budgets for three major cities, Harare, Bulawayo and Chitungwiza until the local authorities submitted their executives’ salary schedules.
BY MOSES MATENGA
This comes amid concerns that senior managers at the local authorities were getting obscene salaries while workers were languishing in poverty and service delivery was at an all-time low.
In an interview, Chombo said he would start issuing year-long performance-based contracts to town clerks and those who failed to perform would not have their contracts renewed renewed.
“I am yet to get a report (on salaries), but I sent a team to work on that. By Monday, I will have reports for Harare, Bulawayo and Chitungwiza. If we don’t get that then we will not approve the (councils’) budget because we want to link it to that,” Chombo said.
“We want them well paid, but we don’t want obscene salaries for them. They should also sign 12-month long contracts to perform certain functions. They will be performance-based and if they fail, there won’t be any reason to renew their contracts and keep them. You can’t give them big contracts to sit on their laurels for long.”
According to government requirement, local authorities should at least use 70% of their collected revenue for service delivery and 30% on salaries.
At the moment salaries are gobbling 70% of revenue collections.
Speculation has been rife that town clerks, who are chief executive officers of local authorities, were getting close to $20 000 monthly in salaries and more than $15 000 in allowances.
The matter has raised anxiety among residents and stakeholders who were getting a raw deal as service delivery across the country has plummeted.
For close to five years now, Harare city councillors have been trying without success to get the salary schedule of senior managers at Town House.