HARARE - Harare residents have put the Harare City Council under the spotlight after claims the local authority is top heavy, bearing immensely on the consumer.
Residents say the HCC has employed more people than required, with residents being asked to meet their salary demands through rates increases.
Harare Residents Trust (HRT) director Precious Shumba said that though some of the appointments may seem necessary, they should have been conducted in a transparent manner.
“When the minister appointed the commission of Tendai Mahachi and Alfred Tome, when council was dissolved he was specific that they were not to recruit people,” Shumba said.
“Unfortunately the council recruited a reporter from The Herald and another from ZBC and assigned them senior positions in the public relations department.
“Plus they recruited the director of Public Safety Department and Business Development director. While these might be necessary, they have to be done in a transparent manner with the capacity of residents to pay them in mind.”
He said his organisation had it on good authority that the council had an estimated 9 500 employees against known capacity of 7 000 employees.
“Council has two directors in Health and another two directors in Treasury, with different titles yet serving the same purpose,” the HRT director said.
Shumba said that the bulk of council revenue was being gobbled up by senior management who reportedly earn $15 000.
“The town clerk pockets $18 000 while the lowest paid council employee nets $157 at the end of the month. The ideal ratio, from our own analysis would be 70 percent for service delivery and 30 percent for salaries, allowances and administration costs,” he said.
Thomas Muzuva, the Harare deputy mayor, however, said residents were not being entirely honest about their assessment of council operations.
“If that revenue we are receiving was being channelled towards salaries council would not be two months behind in salaries.
“Our employees are yet to receive their September salaries and right now the October salaries are also due,” Muzuva said.