Council salary caps won't be scrapped: Govt

HARARE - The salary caps imposed on Harare City Council (HCC)’s top management will remain, despite the authority’s executives claiming the move violated their contracts, Local Government ministry permanent secretary George Mlilo said.

In an interview with the Daily News yesterday, Mlilo said nothing would change with regards to what the executives earn.

HCC executives wrote a letter to mayor Bernard Manyenyeni demanding to have their exorbitant salaries reinstated, arguing that apart from the move violating their contracts, council also did not consult them on the matter.

Last year, the ministry capped salaries of council directors and managers.

The highest was earning around $10 000 per month, with the rest of the executives’ salaries cascading from there.

However, Mlilo said “The salary cap remains. I do not know what their motive is with regard to this demand or what they intend to achieve”.

“It is like they are trying to fish where there is no water really,” he said.

Manyenyeni said “the reality is that council is sinking because of our human resources costs. Ideally, council salaries should be midway between the private and government find that we are paying more than the private sector and that is unjustifiable,” he said.

He said the issue of salaries at Town House was an unavoidable discussion, adding it was “very important.”

He said if the executives wish to take council to court, they can do so but the salaries will not change.

The mayor said the issue will be dealt with internally.

However, if it escalates, they may have to approach the parent ministry on the way forward, he said.

“How do we justify these hefty salaries to residents? We simply have no leg to stand on when it comes to what executives are being paid,” Manyenyeni said.

Council has been failing provide services, including collecting garbage around the city because it has not had fuel for the past one month.

Manyenyeni said until HCC aligns its costs to what it collects monthly, the city will fall into deeper trouble.

He added that the city does not have the capacity to pay everybody their current wages because of its top-heavy salary payroll.

Meanwhile, HCC is pondering on how to deal with its executives implicated in a salary scam that involved millions of dollars.

Comments (1)

this Manyenyeni guy seems to have a bias for action. i would like him to feature more on the political scene when his mayoral days are over. while residents bemoan poor service delivery, this guy is trying to get to the root of the problem which is dealing with administrative corruption

Edelbert - 15 December 2016

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