‘Tyson’ brews shocker over coun­cil bosses’ perks

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - In­no­cent Ruwende Harare Bureau

LO­CAL Gov­ern­ment, Pub­lic Works and Na­tional Hous­ing Min­is­ter, Saviour Ka­sukuwere has brewed a shocker by al­low­ing lo­cal au­thor­ity top chefs, most of whom are earn­ing mega salaries, to ne­go­ti­ate new in­cre­ments if their coun­cils meet given con­di­tions.

Ser­vice de­liv­ery, in most lo­cal au­thor­i­ties, de­plorable.

In Oc­to­ber 2014, all ur­ban lo­cal au­thor­i­ties were sent a Cab­i­net-di­rected salary for town clerk/sec­re­tary of $10 450 for the high­est paid, but a let­ter writ­ten by Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment, Pub­lic Works and Na­tional Hous­ing Min­istry per­ma­nent sec­re­tary Eng Ge­orge Mlilo said some coun­cils had made sub­mis­sions to pay more than the di­rec­tive.

Ac­cord­ing to the let­ter (Cir­cu­lar No.1 of 2016) dated Oc­to­ber 10 this year ad­dressed to all town clerks and sec­re­taries and copied to all pro­vin­cial ad­min­is­tra­tors, Eng Mlilo said in order to in­sti­tute a uni­form sys­tem of deal­ing with ap­pli­ca­tions Min­is­ter Ka­sukuwere had al­lowed for ne­go­ti­a­tions to take place.

“He has also set the pre-req­ui­sites for ne­go­ti­a­tions to com­mence. These are as fol­lows: coun­cil must cur­rently be pay­ing a ra­tio­nalised em­ploy­ment pack­age, any in­crease must be within the 30:70 ra­tio based on the ac­tual in­come of the last au­dited ac­counts, coun­cil can­not be in any salary ar­rears, all labour­re­lated statu­tory obli­ga­tions must be up to date and the in­crease should not cre­ate a wide salary dif­fer­en­tial.”

“Where a coun­cil meets the pre-req­ui­sites, a res­o­lu­tion to en­ter into ne­go­ti­a­tions must be passed rec­om­mend­ing the pro­posed in­creases and the an­tic­i­pated sources of rev­enue to cover the dif­fer­ence is in the bud­geted amount. Coun­cil should also ap­point a task team to un­der­take the ne­go­ti­a­tions,” reads the let­ter.

On re­ceipt of the ap­pli­ca­tion, the min­istry said it will an­a­lyse all the in­for­ma­tion given and will then en­ter into dis­cus­sions with the coun­cil ap­pointed task team and fol­low­ing the dis­cus­sions a rec­om­men­da­tion will be made to the Min­is­ter, whose de­ci­sion will be fi­nal.

Eng Mlilo said the in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the cir­cu­lar rests with him.

Last year Gov­ern­ment set a salary cap for salaries and perks per month for paras­tatal and lo­cal au­thor­i­ties’ bosses af­ter it emerged that heads of State en­ti­ties were pay­ing them­selves “ob­scene” salaries and perks at the ex­pense of ser­vice de­liv­ery.

How­ever, most lo­cal au­thor­i­ties’ bosses con­tin­ued to earn mega salaries with Harare only com­ply­ing to a di­rec­tive from Gov­ern­ment, con­veyed through the per­ma­nent sec­re­tary, di­rect­ing coun­cil to peg the town clerk’s salary at $10,475.75 and pro­por­tion­ately cas­cad­ing that amount to other se­nior of­fi­cers in Au­gust last year.

A re­cent au­dit con­ducted at the be­hest of the min­istry showed that Harare ex­ec­u­tives con­tin­ued to earn be­tween $12 000 and $21 000 from Oc­to­ber 2014 to June 2015 rais­ing the ire of the Harare Mu­nic­i­pal Work­ers’ Union which reg­is­tered dis­gust and anger that while the work­ers have gone for five to six months with­out pay­ment, Mayor Manyenyeni and his coun­cil have been pay­ing the ex­ec­u­tive pay­roll hand­somely and on time.

“We say no to the dic­tates of dis­crim­i­nat­ing work­ers ac­cord­ing to their pay­rolls, in­stead coun­cil should be pay­ing the poor work­ers in grades (5 to 16) gen­eral pay­roll timeously since they are the ones who pro­vide ac­tual ser­vice on the ground.”

“We have en­dured all these virtues in the name of loy­alty to our em­ployer but now that it has be­come clear that it is only the work­ers who are en­dur­ing all this pain, we are say­ing no to it. Enough is enough, the Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni should pay work­ers their dues, in­clu­sive of 2015 bonuses with­out de­lay and now,” said HMWU ex­ec­u­tive chair­man Mr Cos­mas Bungu.

Min­is­ter Saviour Ka­sukuwere

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