Harare Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni says the Harare Town Clerk Tendai Mahachi, who earns $37,642 a month, has since last November failed to disclose salaries paid to council executives despite numerous requests.
Manyenyeni told journalists in Harare that while payroll information should be under the Human Resources Committee and be generally shared with fellow councilors, that has not been the case in the local authority.
Councillor Manyenyeni said it is therefore difficult to reject a salary structure published in the press showing that top council officials were earning salaries above $35,000 each per month.
Harare Residents Trust director Precious Shumba has called for the immediate suspension of all those earning outrageous salaries amidst poor service delivery.
Shumba said, “We demand that the minister freezes and reviews the salaries of all top managers with immediate effect. Ignatius Chombo must allow checks and balances to be put in place for transparency and accountability. Thousands of residents are suffering and bearing the brunt of a collapsed service delivery system. Many areas are not receiving water yet a few individuals continue to pocket rate payer’s money.
“We are aware of the efforts made by the technocrats in trying by all means to cover-up all this mess hence we are ready to take all legal action against them until the matter is restored and put to order. Residents will not continue to fund a council with no straight priorities when it is so evident that there is need for sanity to prevail in our city which used to carry the sunshine tag.”
Minister Chombo said government has since received the local authority’s budget proposals for 2014 “and officials in my ministry are finalizing it.”
On hefty salaries paid to council officials, Chombo said the government would ensure that the salaries of key employees of the city are not too exorbitant.
“We want to make sure that the salaries proposed (in the budget) are reasonable and can be supported by the ratepayers of Harare. So, we are also looking at that. We also want to make sure that margins of the highest paid and the lowest paid are reasonable. We want the lowest paid to be paid something that is really commensurate with the work that they perform,” he said.
Below is the salary schedule for top council officials: