City bosses under fire over hefty salaries
Innocent Ruwende Municipal Reporter—
Workers Unions and residents have condemned the decision by Harare City Council senior managers to demand reinstatement of their mega salaries and benefits saying that the managers have misplaced sense of entitlement driven by greed. The managers who are understood to be in grade four, argue that the local authority unilaterally reduced their perks with effect from August 15 last year.
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Government set a salary structure for management at Harare City Council, which saw the highest paid employee, the town clerk earning $10 475,75 per month down from $27 000 in line with efforts to cut expenditure on salaries to enhance service delivery.
The Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni on Wednesday said: “A misplaced sense of entitlement – these people should understand more than anyone else the crisis facing the City. The whole world knows that our city is sinking on the weight of its human resources costs.”
Zimbabwe Urban and Rural Council Workers Union secretary general Mr Bernard Dhanda, said the approach by council management might result in Harare going into bankruptcy. “It must be known by the public that the Harare City Council executives were earning from a measured salary structure.
“As their salaries were not calculated in notch form, the lowest paid employee up to the town clerks was around $350 and the Town Clerk getting $27 000.”
“That gap is too big and resulted in institutionalised looting. This approach by council managers may lead to bankruptcy. There is need for rationalisation of the salary structure for the junior employees in line with demanded return of the mega salaries, which are in terms of the international best practice an illegal evil if not rationalised in notch in form,” he said.
He said the managers must be adequately legally represented as their demands were not only ridiculous, but driven by mere greed. “Where are they going to get the money to pay themselves when junior employees are in many months of salary areas it is a mystery,” he added.
Harare Residents Trust director Mr Precious Shumba, said city councillors must unite for once and sent the whole group out of Town House. “They must replace them with more competent and willing servants of the people who are ready to work under the conditions and terms and remuneration the City of Harare can afford and not these mercenaries who appear very determined to milk the residents without sympathy.”
“Mayor Manyenyeni and the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing should not continue to entertain mercenaries out to destroy the little that remains of Harare City Council through these outrageous demands by the city managers,” he said.
He said Mr Manyenyeni and his council should stop sanitising the ongoing madness and be decisive in their handling of this issue. Mr Shumba recommended that central Government forces all the managers to go and recruit a new on a remuneration scale commensurate with the ability of the council to generate money.