Nyemudzai Kakore Herald Correspondent
Workers’ unions representatives yesterday lashed out at suspended Harare Town Clerk Dr Tendai Mahachi’s demands for a golden handshake running into millions of dollars, describing it as outrageous and extortionist.
Leaders of trade unions that spoke to The Herald yesterday said Dr Mahachi’s demands were unrealistic in the prevailing economic environment.
Harare Municipal Workers’ Union chairperson Mr Cosmas Bungu echoed similar sentiments saying Dr Mahachi’s demands come when the city is providing poor services to residents.
“The irony is that last year heads of departments were retrenched together with other employees. Dr Mahachi said the city did not have the capacity to pay for their demands then.
“The city is failing to provide basic services to residents yet he makes such outrageous demands,” he said.
Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions secretary-general Mr Japhet Moyo said: “We have been arguing over a two week’s severance payment and someone is asking for millions. Are we living in a different world and how do we justify that gap?”
Mr Bungu called for Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere to intervene.
“This is the time the minister should intervene and stop all this nonsense taking place. It is only logical to conclude that the executive payroll is gobbling almost 70 percent of the city’s wage bill with the majority of the workers getting only 30 percent,” said Mr Bungu.
The city has six directors, 45 middle managers and an overall workforce of 6 348.
Urban and Rural Councils Workers Union (ZURCWU) secretary Mr Bernard Dhanda described Dr Mahachi’s demands as extortionate.
Mr Dhanda said he was only entitled to his pension as he has reached retirement age.
“His exit package demands are exorbitant. This is extortion because we need to first look at the services he offered to council against his demands,” he said.
Workers’ unions comments come as Dr Mahachi through his lawyers Magwaliba and Kwirira wants council to pay him over $100 000 for every year he served among other benefits.
Dr Mahachi joined council in 2007 and was earning about $27 000 monthly.
He is currently on forced leave for reportedly stalling the city’s succession plan and rationalisation of executive salaries, among other issues
Harare mayor councillor Bernard Manyenyeni said they were still in the process of studying his exit package requirements.