'Council should scrap 2013 bonuses'

HARARE - Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni has said council employees’ outstanding bonus cheques for 2013 should be completely scrapped.

Manyenyeni said this during a full council meeting after acting town clerk Josephine Ncube had finished narrating the current salary payment situation.

He said the logic of paying bonuses when regular salaries were outstanding was unrealistic.

“In my view, this whole bonus cheque should just be left out for 2013 while we look to paying people their monthly salaries,” Manyenyeni said.

Last month, Manyenyeni managed to negotiate with the Harare Municipal Workers Union (HMWU) to persuade them not to go ahead with their planned strike against non-payment of salaries.

HMWU had complained that in their prior agreement with management, council was supposed to pay their salaries after realising profits but nothing had materialised.

Ncube told the councillors that grades 16 to 9 had been paid and salaries for grade 16 to 14 at Harare Water had also been paid their May and June salaries.

“On July 31, we paid grade 10 and starting August 1 we will be paying grade nine,” she said adding that; “We hope that by August 8 we will start paying other grades.”

Ncube said the much anticipated 13th cheques for most employees were being staggered to make way for salaries to be updated first.

She also told the council meeting that grades one to four which make up management had last been paid in March.

Councillor Wilton Janjazi said council had the capacity to pay salaries but their priorities were too many for them to concentrate on one thing.

He said there was a laxity in mobilising resources making it difficult for them to pay salaries on time.

Deputy mayor Thomas Muzuva concurred saying there were countless council buildings that are being leased for free.

“Though we may not want to name and shame but be advised that we know of many people who have not been paying rentals on council property for over five years,” Muzuva said adding that; “These people also sublet the property and make huge profits from us, yet we claim we cannot pay on time.”

Council came under fire after revelations that top 19 management employees were gobbling over $500 000 in salaries.

According to the schedule presented to Parliament by the town clerk Tendai Mahachi in February, a grade one employee receives a basic salary of $14 000, a retention and
entertainment allowances of $1 400 and housing allowance of $4 200.

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