Board to work on salaries: Chombo

HARARE - Government will set up a board to work on the modalities of the municipality’s managers salaries, Ignatius Chombo, minister of Local Government Public Works and National Housing has said.

Chombo briefed Parliament of the development on Wednesday while responding to questions fielded by legislators who demanded to know why the minister had allowed town clerks and chief executive officers at the local authorities to earn hefty salaries.

Former Harare City executive mayor Elias Mudzuri, who is also the MDC legislator for Warren Park, asked why Chombo had allowed town clerks to earn such hefty salaries at a time when local authorities were failing to deliver the requisite services to the ratepayers.

“There are 92 local authorities and the majority of local authority’s chief executive officers salaries were not obscene. A decision has been reached by government to set up a local government board, they are the ones who were asking to come up with the appropriate remuneration for the various grades of the various local authorities in our country,” said Chombo.

“I think this is  the fairest way to make sure that CEO’s are properly compensated  and enjoy their work thereby contributing  to the development of their areas of jurisdiction,”  said Chombo.

Willas Madzimure MDC legislator for Kambuzuma asked whether the board was not going to duplicate or contradict a previous government directive which pegged salaries at $6 000 for every government CEO in parastatals.

“It is not contrary to the dictates of Cabinet committee on review of salaries of parastatals of CEO’s. It is simply looking for a fair wage for a CEO working for an organisation like Nssa, Zinara, and City of Harare. The $6 000 figure is an interim measure waiting for the determination of the correct and appropriate remuneration level,” said Chombo.

The shocking revelations of salaries of Town House managers came at a time service delivery was at an all-time low and when government has threatened to deal with obscene salaries earned by bosses of different parastatals and local authorities.

Harare Town clerk Tendai Mahachi has however defended his hefty salary saying that was it was approved by ministry and local financial auditing company which was tasked by the local authority to carry out market research on the salaries earned by council directors.

Mahachi and his 18-member management team at Town House were gobbling close to $500 000 in monthly salaries.

The legislators questioned the rational of municipality’s managers and directors awarding themselves hefty salaries at a time when council was failing to provide adequate service to  ratepayers.

“I am concerned with the reports that the mayor of Gwanda is earning $2 000 as salary and $18 000 as allowances.

“I find it quite difficult and I am going to send officials to do an audit and find out the truth about the matter and appropiatate consequences will befall the mayor,” said Chombo.

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