THE cash-strapped Mutare City Council is mooting scrapping the bulk of allowances given to its employees to ensure its wage bill remains below 30% of total expenditure budget.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
A special council meeting held on Monday resolved to scrap the workers’ allowances after realising that wages were consuming 61% of the local authority’s budget, in breach of an order by Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo that salaries should constitute at the most 30% of the budget leaving 70% for service delivery.
The eastern border city is racing against time to have its 2015 budget approved by the parent ministry.
In the 2015 budget, 41% had been set aside for employment costs, but councillors resolved to reduce it further to 30% in line with Chombo’s directive.
Mutare mayor Tatenda Nhamarare confirmed the development yesterday.
“We don’t have a resolution as yet, but this is a matter under discussion,” he said.
Some councillors who spoke on condition of anonymity said they supported the move to scrap workers’ allowances.
“We said no more unnecessary overtime unless in special cases. We also agreed to cut some allowances which were burdening us,” said a councillor.
“This is in line with the quest by councillors to get in line with the ministry’s position that the bulk of revenue we receive should be spent on service delivery. Without this, our budget will not be approved.
“We also spoke on the need to be thorough when buying goods so that we save money too. Generally we were in agreement,” said the source who refused to be named.
Others said the move was to entice the residents to pay their rates.
“Council should justify the revenue collected, therefore there should be something tangible to show for the revenue that we get,” said another councillor who refused to be named.