HARARE municipal workers have accused their management of lacking innovation, hence their failure to generate adequate revenue to improve service delivery and clear salary arrears.
BY SILENCE CHARUMBIRA
In a letter dated January 14 this year, Harare Municipal Workers’ Union executive chairperson, Cosmas Bungu challenged acting town clerk, Josephine Ncube, mayor Bernard Manyenyeni and councillors to “urgently address the issue of the deteriorating service delivery on the background (sic) of the unjustified non-payment of salaries to your employees in grades (5 to 16) in the city of Harare”.
Bungu accused council of neglecting their advice on better revenue collection methods that has resulted in the failure to pay workers due to below average revenue collection.
Among the issues raised in the letter are rehabilitation of crusher station and cost-benefit analysis of the operations of the council’s quarry mine shaft.
He accused management of sabotaging the station by removing equipment as a way of proving that the station was not viable.
“We need to rehabilitate crusher station by returning working equipment and machinery that was taken away by the city in order to justify their claims that crusher station is in a sorry state and needs partnership with Rukova (Private) Limited,” he said.
Bungu said council had neglected their advice on the revitalisation of amusement parks, which he said should now be enjoying the same benefits as Long Cheng Plaza Amusement Park, which enjoys brisk business.
The workers accused council of continued outsourcing of equipment when the city had the same equipment that only required minor servicing.
“City of Harare is hiring plant and machinery from private suppliers such as Zada Construction when we have the same equipment and machinery, which requires minor repairs and replacement,” Bungu said.
“The large amounts of money being paid to Zada and other private players weekly can be channelled into repairing, upgrading and replacement of our own machinery rather than outsourcing, which is costly to council,” he said, adding that Town House should make use of its municipal police instead of hiring private security.
“City of Harare has its well-trained security arm, municipal police, at its disposal, which is responsible for providing static guard duties protecting municipal properties from damage, theft etc. However, city management is outsourcing the security services by giving security tenders to private companies, such as Tragic Security Company, at an exorbitant cost, which is not necessary at all,” he said
Bungu said a comparative analysis proves that using private security was around 60% more expensive than the municipal police option.
He said the city also needed to be run professionally unlike the current scenario, where it is operating without a town planner, which he blamed for the proliferation of illegal structures and congested roads.
Bungu said “the city was losing millions of dollars in uncollected revenue due to the incidence of management dexterity on the enforcement of collection and termination of non-performing leases, where it appears on the referrals to the respective authorities, the cases die a natural death since there is no action against the defaulters”.