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Chitungwiza Council Owes Workers $10 million in Unpaid Salaries

  • Irwin  Chifera

The Chitungwiza municipality owes it workers more than $10 million in unpaid salaries, parliament heard on Monday.

The satellite town’s workers committee told lawmakers that ordinary employees are wallowing in poverty while senior management get their monthly salaries and in some instances given salaries in advance.

Chitungwiza municipality workers committee chairman, Ephraim Katsina, told the Public Service, Labor and Social Welfare portfolio committee that workers have gone for 11 months without pay.

Katsina said though Town Clerk George Makunde and his management team claim they are also owed money by council, the committee has evidence including bank statements showing management is fully paid and has been advanced salaries some of them up to May this year.

Katsina handed over the bank statements to the committee as evidence. He also alleged that council has secret bank accounts from which management is being paid, adding managers had also illegally inflating their salaries.

Katsina told lawmakers senior management’s salaries are no longer being processed by the town’s salaries officer as the human resources director is now in control, a move he said was designed to hide information from workers.

He said the committee approached Mayor Philip Mutoti over the issue of salaries and alleged corruption but the mayor branded them liars.

Katsina said the committee will investigate the municipality’s finances to make sure employees are paid their outstanding salaries.

He said workers have evidence that the council collected $14 million from January 2013 to date but only $4 million was used for employment costs while the rest cannot be accounted for.

Both Makunde and Mayor Mutoti could not be reached for comment.

Findings by a special investigations team appointment by the Local Government ministry revealed the non-payment of Chitungwiza town council workers induced them into deals with some businessmen where they illegally sold council land to desperate home seekers.

Meanwhile, the Judicial Service Commission has begun implementing the new constitution by asking members of the public to participate in the selection of judges of the Supreme and High Courts.

According to advertisements in newspapers, three positions of judges are up for grabs in the Supreme Court and another three in the High Court and members of the public have up to the April 14 to nominate candidates.

The commission said nomination forms can be obtained from the Commission’s offices in Harare and provincial magistrate offices around the country.

Completed forms and attached nominees’ curriculum vitae must be submitted to the Commission by April 14 this year.

Justice portfolio committee chairperson Jessie Majome commended the Commission for following the new charter urging the executive to follow suit by making sure all pieces of legislation are aligned to the new constitution.

She urged members of the public to participate in the process.