GOVERNMENT has rejected Gweru City Council’s proposal to give out residential stands to its workers in lieu of their outstanding salaries and bonus payments for 2015.
BY Stephen Chadenga
Town clerk, Elizabeth Gwatipedza told NewsDay yesterday that the proposal was shot down by Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere, who directed the local authority to seek other revenue sources to clear the salary backlog.
“Council had made an arrangement that employees be given stands in lieu of bonuses for 2015 and last year’s four months’ salary arrears,” she said.
“But then the ministry said no to that kind of arrangement and said we either reduce the wage bill or cut down on costs and pay them (workers outstanding amounts).”
Last year, council finance director, Edgar Mwedzi, said the local authority had agreed with workers to set aside their outstanding salaries and bonuses for the purchase of residential stands.
“There is still a salary backlog although an agreement has been reached with the workers to forgo four months’ salary and 2015 bonuses towards the purchase of residential stands,” he said then.
The cash-strapped local authority owes employees five months’ salaries, as well as 2015 bonuses.
In 2015, council offered residential stands to employees at its now-defunct liquor entity, Go Beer Breweries, to offset salary arrears in a bid to avoid litigation.