HomeLocal NewsHarare working on cutting ‘abnormal’ wage bill

Harare working on cutting ‘abnormal’ wage bill


THE cash-strapped Harare City Council has announced plans to realign its “abnormal” salary schedule and match it with market rates in order to devote the bulk of its revenue towards service delivery.


Harare City Council
Harare City Council

Mayor, Bernard Manyenyeni said the local authority will this week award a tender to a consultancy firm, which will work with council to reduce its wage bill.

“We are burdened with a heavy wage bill and the management and executive continue to take the limelight because they are a politically more sellable argument, but the reality in council is that almost every job in council is overpaid, that why we have this crisis.

“The executive account for maybe 3% of the total wage bill, so that tells you even if you stop paying them even one dollar, we will still have a huge wage bill.”

“We cannot move this council without taking a look at our wage bill and council has already moved towards a salary bench marking exercise. I have just got a report from the acting town clerk (Josephine Ncube) and I think we are closing in on the tender in the next week or so,” he said.

Manyenyeni said council was struggling to provide quality services because of the huge cost structure, which has seen Harare only dedicating $9 million to salaries, $2,5 million to water treatment and a paltry $1 million to service delivery from the $13 million it collects each month.

He said, under normal circumstances, council should rake in $25 million in rates per month, but was being undercut by defaulting ratepayers.

Harare has also come under fire after it emerged that its top brass has defied a 2014 Cabinet resolution to cut executives’ salaries, with its top officials still receiving obscene pay cheques, which sometimes surpass salaries of major blue chip companies on the stock exchange.

Manyenyeni said he was frustrated at the slow pace at which the moves to cut the bloated wage bill were going, saying if it had been left to him the issue would not have gone to tender.

Manyenyeni said the issues raised in the audit report, which implicated top management in the salary scandal, had not died, but were now before the council audit committee, which will soon be presenting recommendations to the council.

“The matter is not dead, council was on recess and it has only started work and the audit committee is seized with the report and their recommendations will be presented soon to council and the way forward will be found,” he said.

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