Councils defy $6 000 salary cap decree

HARARE -  City council bosses are defying a Cabinet directive to cap executives salaries at $6 000, legislators have said.

Members of Parliament (MPs) told Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo that city fathers are still smiling all the way to the bank, despite the $6 000 salary cap imposed by the Cabinet Committee on State Enterprises and Parastatals.

The salary cap decree was issued in March.

Webster Maondera, MDC MP for Glen Norah, asked Chombo during Parliament’s question and answers session in the National Assembly on Wednesday why city fathers were defying the directive. He referred to remarks made  by Harare mayor Benard Manyenyeni to the Local Government portfolio committee a fortnight ago that city fathers were still earning mega salaries.

“What is government policy regarding those senior council officials who are still earning huge sums of salaries despite the government directive that their salaries should not be more than $6 000?” Maondera asked. “For example, the mayor of Harare confirmed that the top executives are still earning their old mega salaries.”

In response, Chombo said he was unaware of this, adding Manyenyeni had not yet briefed him.

“If the officials are not implementing what councillors have decided, then appropriate action should be taken,” Chombo said. “So l will inquire from the mayor of Harare, councillor Manyenyeni, if what he said is true, and then l will demand that he takes appropriate action.”

However, Maondera was quick to note that Manyenyeni’s assertion was true because when he appeared before the portfolio committee, he was speaking under oath.

This forced Chombo to say that Manyenyeni never reported to him what he said.

“I heard that the mayor did attend the Local Government portfolio committee to respond to issues that the committee members had,” Chombo said.

“But, to date, he has not even briefed me about his trip here and what transpired. He has not even told me that he has any problems with his officials. What I only know is that his senior officials have not been paid for the last four months.”

In March, the Cabinet Committee on State Enterprises and Parastatals released a salary schedule which revealed that city council bosses all over the country were awarding themselves what, on face value, looked like decent monthly basic salaries, albeit accompanied by hefty benefits.

In the salary schedule, town clerks were getting average monthly salaries of about $2 000 and benefits as high as $17 000 and $15 000.

This occurred at a time when councils all over the country were struggling to offer efficient service delivery.

In Harare, the town clerk was getting a monthly basic salary of $14 000 and benefits of $23 313, while in the second largest city of Bulawayo, the town clerk took home $5 182 as a basic salary and $11 379 as guaranteed package.

The municipality of Gwanda boss took home $6 767 and a guaranteed benefits package of
$20 588.

The Chitungwiza Municipality clerk got a monthly basic salary of $10 000 and had a guaranteed benefits package of $9 663.

Victoria Falls Municipality boss, who received a guaranteed benefits package of $16 199, was on a basic salary of $3 534.

The Beitbridge Town Council clerk received a monthly basic salary of $8 132 and benefits amounting to $15 210, while Chinhoyi municipality boss took home a mere $3 000 and a guaranteed package of $14 358.

Comments (3)

ZANU PF can only talk & do nothing.Minister Chombo is not sincere on the salary issue of big council CEOs&managers.Why wait for the mayor's report when the minister has power to investigate these issues himself?

kureketa basi - 18 July 2014

Chomb is a joke, to say the least. How can a publicly sworn in minister fail to make head or tail of what is going on in their ministry? It's a pity, the president needs to take a cue from this... his ministers are taking a deep slumber on duty... or is it that he's sleeping too? kkkkkkk!!!!

Jomo - 18 July 2014

Leaders in Zim have completely failed us, this middle finger right in our face! People lets arise, enough is enough. One idiot was begging the Chinese to finance his ill drafted economy policies just the day. These old retards should just resign, better still die. Fed up, mina

Majorx - 18 July 2014

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