‘Tyson’ brews shocker over council bosses’ perks
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