BY XOLISANI NCUBE
HARARE City Council (HCC) has rejected a directive by Local Government minister July Moyo to rescind a decision to appoint councillors as board members in companies the municipality has interests.
“We received a directive from the minister to rescind a decision to appoint councillors to outside bodies. We sought a legal opinion from our external lawyers and they indicated that the minister had no authority to direct us to rescind the resolution. However, for the purpose of good working relations with the minister, we are directing the matter to the business committee,” mayor Herbert Gomba told a full council meeting last week.
He then asked the acting chamber secretary, Charles Kandemiri to explain the legal position in detail.
“The legal position indicated that the minister could not direct the city to rescind the resolution, but to recommend for council to re-look at the issue,” Kandemiri said.
The issue of the municipality’s commercial interests has often become an issue of conflict among councillors because they are viewed as cash cows.
Councillors that sit on the boards of such companies are paid allowances which are considered as rich pickings for the city fathers.
Meanwhile, councillors have resolved to engage government for an upward review of allowances they receive whenever they attend to council business outside Harare.
The city fathers said the current rates approved by government were eroded by the recent price hikes.
Council resolved that while the mayor and the deputy mayor were allowed to get $200 and $100, respectively, the figure being given to councillors was lower.