LOCAL Government minister Ignatius Chombo has advised the cash-strapped Mutare City Council to retrench staff and cut down on its labour costs so that it channels more resources towards service delivery.
This was revealed in a letter from Chombo’s proxy, Mutare assistant district administrator Simon Sigauke, which was read out to councillors by town clerk Obert Muzawazi on Tuesday.
Part of the letter dated June 5 this year reads: “This office is pleased to inform you that the Honourable Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Cde (Ignatius) Chombo has approved the Mutare City Council’s ($20 million) 2014 budget.
“Please note that it was emphasised that there is need for you to cut costs on employees’ salaries. This could be by way of retrenching.
“The anticipated outcome is that 70% of the budget will have to go towards the deliverables with 30% apportioned for employment costs.
“The budget has to be streamlined to meet the dictates of ZimAsset.”
Chombo also urged council to vigorously pursue its debtors so as to improve its revenue base.
The council, which has been struggling to clear the salary backlog for its 1 700 workers, laid off about 300 contract workers in April in a bid to reduce labour costs.