Senior Harare City Council officials have not been paid for the last four months according to Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo.
Chombo said this in response to a question from Glen Norah Member of Parliament Webster Maondera who wanted to know whether council officials were still earning huge salaries despite the government directive limiting these to US$6 000 a month.
According to figures released by Deputy Local Government Minister Joel Biggie Matiza in March, the Harare town clerk earned US$21 000 a month.
Chombo said he did not know whether the salaries of senior officials had been reviewed or not because he had not been briefed by the mayor. But when pressed for a response, Chombo said: “What I only know is that his senior officials have not been paid for the last four months.”
Q & A:
MR. MAONDERA: My question is directed to the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing. What is Government policy regarding those senior council officials who are still earning huge sums of salaries despite the Government directive that their salaries should not be US$6 000. For example, the Mayor of Harare confirmed that the top executives are still earning their old mega salaries?
THE MINISTER OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT, PUBLIC WORKS AND NATIONAL HOUSING (DR. CHOMBO): Thank you Madam Speaker. I want thank the hon. member for his question but I think I will check with the Mayor of Harare to see whether what the Mayor told him is true because the Mayor has not told me that. We expect the council to be led by the Mayor, who should preside over all decisions in council and to make sure that the decisions of council are implemented by the officials. If the officials are not implementing what the councillors have decided, then appropriate action should be taken.
So I will inquire from the Mayor of Harare, Councillor Manyenyeni, if what he said is true, and then I will demand that he takes appropriate action. Thank you.
MR. MAONDERA: The Mayor appeared before a Local Government Portfolio Committee in this august House, two weeks ago and he was under oath. So we believed what he told this august House is correct. So what is Government policy concerning that?
DR. CHOMBO: I heard that the Mayor did attend the Local Government Portfolio Committee to respond to issues that the Committee members had. But to date, he has not even briefed me about his trip here and what transpired. He has not even told me that he has any problems with his officials. What I only know is that his senior officials have not been paid for the last four months.
MR. MADZIMURE: Through you Madam Speaker, can the Minister confirm that a directive was given for the salaries to be reduced?
THE DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, hon. member, you are still going back to the same point. That issue is being discussed in the Portfolio Committee of Local Government.