By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa
2 July 2014
Four months after government there was a salary cap for top earning parastatal and local authority bosses, executives at Harare City Council are still earning huge salaries.
In March, following reports that company chief execs were earning as much as $50,000 per month, including other perks, government said that salaries for top earners will be pegged at a maximum of $6,000.
But since government set the ceiling it has emerged that heads of state entities are still paying themselves obscene salaries and perks at the expense of service delivery.At the town house government town clerk Tendai Mahachi earns over $23,000 a month.
Precious Shumba, the director of the Harare Residents Trust, told our weekly Hidden Story program that he blames government for the fiasco.
‘We didn’t expect compliance from the local authorities to act on a verbal instruction. These council people rely on instructions written on documents. They’ve not been given any documents or paper except pronouncements made in newspapers,’ Shumba said.
He added: ‘That is one of the weaknesses of our government that it makes very attractive pronouncements but does not proceed to demonstrate its commitments to its instructions.’
Harare Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni said the mega salaries have remained in place because there was no formal communication from Cabinet on the development. Appearing before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Local Government, Rural and Urban Development on Tuesday the mayor said no salary cuts have been done.
‘There are plans being talked about that a directive will come from government on salary cuts. That development is shrouded in poor traction. It’s not moving,’ said Manyenyeni.
Meanwhile Harare City Council senior management was on Tuesday grilled by Parliament over the alleged abuse of part of a $144 million loan, sourced from China to rehabilitate water infrastructure.
Council management bought top-of-the range vehicles using the loan. Reports said Anastasia Ndlovu, ZANU PF MP and chairperson of the Environment, Water, Tourism and Hospitality Industry parliamentary portfolio committee, told acting town clerk Josephine Ncube that Harare residents were not amused by the acquisition of the vehicles.
Council officials allegedly used $2 million from the facility to buy luxury vehicles, including Range Rovers and Toyota V8 cars, instead of refurbishing water facilities.