The cash-strapped Chinhoyi Town Council has failed to pay salaries of about 400 workers for the second month following a recent order by the Ministry of Local Government for urban and rural councils to scrap outstanding bills backdating to 2009.
The council, which has been struggling to pay workers’ salaries on time, says it is no longer in a position to meet some of its financial obligations due to dwindling funds.
It says its financial woes have been worsened by Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo’s order to write off debts as it does not have other alternative sources of generating income for paying workers’ salaries.
One of the affected workers, who requested not to be named in fear of being victimized, said they are now struggling to make ends meet at a time when they were expecting to benefit from Zanu-PF’s resounding victory in the July 31st elections.
Chinhoyi council acting Town Clerk Abel Gotora confirmed that they are failing to pay workers’ salaries due to lack of money.
Gotora said the situation was worsened by the scrapping of water bills, which were its major source of income.
He promised the workers that they will be paid their salaries by the end of this week.
But another worker, who wanted to be identified as Gringo, said the council will not be able to fulfill its promises as it owes them thousands of dollars.
At the same time, the Chinhoyi Town Council has dismissed reports that it recently purchased five top of the range vehicles for its managers, saying the cars were instead donated by well-wishers.
Gotora was not at liberty to name the donors.
The council found itself in the same predicament last year and resolved to pay outstanding salaries with residential stands, a move that failed to take off due to lack of proper planning.
The Chinhoyi council wage bill for 394 employees is 260,000 per month.