Councils refuse to cut salaries

via Councils refuse to cut salaries March 25, 2014 in Newsday by Moses Matenga and Blessed Mhlanga

LOCAL authorities have defied a government directive to slash salaries and perks of their top managers, saying the order was against the country’s labour laws.

Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa last week directed all local authorities and parastatals to slash salaries of their top executives to a maximum of $6 000 inclusive of allowances.

Chinamasa said the cap on salaries would run while investigations into how the bosses were awarded hefty salaries and perks were being undertaken.

The local authorities yesterday said they would not act impulsively as they would be guided by the country’s Constitution and labour laws when dealing with the issue.
But lawyer Tawanda Zhuwarara felt that the government could get away with its directive with no legal impediments.

“Section 195 sub-section 1 of the Constitution says all companies and institutions owned by the State should abide by generally accepted standards,” Zhuwarara said.
“When an individual gets $500 000 and the company can’t pay its workers, it’s not good corporate governance. It’s not just stupid, it’s illegal.”

Zhuwarara added: “If you look at it on the surface, it’s unfair, but it is legal and necessary . . . no crime might have been committed, but these salaries are tantamount to a fraud.”

Harare City Council (HCC) yesterday said it would not be shepherded into implementing the government directive without considering the consequences.

HCC human resources committee chairperson Wellington Chikombo said the issue of salaries for local authority bosses would be dealt with within the confines of the country’s Constitution and labour laws.

“Everything has to be done according to the laws of the country. It’s not about agreeing or disagreeing, it’s about the law. We are a law-abiding council and everything has to be done according to the supreme law of the country,” Chikombo said. “We have to be diligent and sober, we don’t have to approach matters with emotions because we get emotive results. We will be cautious in dealing with our (human) resource.”

Harare town clerk Tendai Mahachi was reportedly getting $37 000 in both salary and allowances, but that would be slashed to $6 000 if council implemented Chinamasa’s directive. Salaries for town clerks for Bulawayo and Victoria Falls, which stood at $9 439 and $7 352 respectively, were also supposed to be cut.

But Bulawayo mayor Martin Moyo said Chinamasa’s directive could also ignite brain drain that could heavily impact on the performance of the local authority.

“I don’t think that is right for government to impose a new salary structure on local authorities. There is an adage which says you pay peanuts, you attract monkeys. If the government imposes the announced salaries, I don’t foresee the best brains remaining in jobs,” Moyo said.

Kadoma mayor Muchineripi Chinyanganya added Chinamasa’s statement was not “implementable and also populist”.

“The minister did not only set an upward cap for salaries, but also instructed us to raise the salaries of the low-income earners to above the Poverty Datum Line ($511),” Chinyanganya said. “The question one has to ask is will local authorities will be able to afford that salary hike and for us it is almost impossible. The minister made that statement without consulting those involved. It is just populist and we can’t implement it.”

Mutare mayor Tatenda Nhamarare said the local authority was awaiting a directive from its parent ministry, the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.

“We only heard about that issue in the newspapers, but our directives come only from the parent ministry, which is that of Local Government. We will wait to hear from them,” Nhamarare said.

There were fears that the directive could trigger a massive exodus of experienced personnel to countries such as Botswana, South Africa and Europe where they could get better salary offers.

Efforts to get a comment from Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo and Chinamasa were fruitless as their phones went unanswered.

Labour experts have, however, warned that government would be overwhelmed with lawsuits if it implemented the salary cut decision.

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27 comments on “Councils refuse to cut salaries
  1. Mixed Race says:

    Let us see whether this government has the guts to deal with these looters who are openly refusing to take instructions from it.If the government backs down from its ruling,then we know that they got the looting directive from the ministers.
    Its all lies that there would be brain drain since most of these CEOs are useless.The government can fill these posts with pensioners like us and we would perform better than these looters.We have the skills and experience to frustrate these looters who want to hold the government at ransom.What is there in the councils that we cannot maintain adequately?
    You claim that the salaries bill will go up when you increase the general workers salaries but you forget that one manager’s is adequate to pay at least 20 employees.Do your simple mathematics you will realise that if we cut your managers salaries and allowances to less than $6000 per month we can afford to increase the salaries for the true workers not you looters.
    It would be a blessing in disguise to get rid of you and replace you with real workers not looters.I can only describe you people as economic saboteurs who should be jailed for treason.Your lack of common sense and human conscience make you guilty of serious national crime.

    • apolitical says:

      You cant get rid of them they are your wonderful MDC councilors – remember only Zanu loot.
      I have been trying to say that the new MDC officials are worse for ages but every one thought they were angels- show me one poor MDC former minister?
      They even wanted perks when they left government, called their package, there is no chance of any MDC official cutting his salary voluntarily, what a joke!

      • NBS says:

        Apolitical unfortunately or sadly you are right. There is a disease spreading through Zimbabwe that needs major surgery. It is called greed, corruption, selfishness etc. But all said and done the fish rots from the head. The powers that be have set an atrocious example.

  2. DL says:

    But Bulawayo mayor Martin Moyo said Chinamasa’s directive could also ignite brain drain that could heavily impact on the performance of the local authority.

    Really? Really? How much worse could it be?

    • apolitical says:

      Which one of them has got serious expertise or a brain?

    • leemoyo says:

      You are very right. I just wonder brain drain these useless guys are talking about. Its not like they have Harvard degrees. I am sure there are many competent Zimbabweans who can do a better job.Salaries must be cut and these guys will go nowhere. Like Temba said – there are guys with genuine MBAs and who are genuine Chartered Engineers, Accountants etc who are earning $500/ month.

    • Mike says:

      Agree with you. It won’t be a brain drain, more like good riddance of bad rubbish.

  3. Tjingababili says:


  4. Tjingababili says:


  5. Vukani Madoda says:

    Let these blood suckers go;and let’s wait and see where they will go.If they have failed to improve services,who would want to waste time with people who have no track record of good perfomance.The councillors are of such low callibre anywhere they are not capable of knowing which of these blood suckers are worth a penny!They certainly could n’t see light where Prof Moyo or Hon Chinamasa failed to see any

  6. Nyoni says:

    Let them go we dont want them. Maybe then we can get the true managers and workers who did the proper job come back in and put these no good worthless trash out in the kumusha .

    • apolitical says:

      Finally, we want those that were appointed by Zanu, that worked had expertise – bit of a serious change for this web site?

      • NBS says:

        No apol that is going too far. We need honest experts who have nothing to do with political parties. Politics stinks

  7. Che'guevara says:

    @ DL some of us are equally educated or even better but are unemployed. Let them go. Who told you they are the best brains in the country.

  8. Smart Talk says:

    It is only in Zimbabwe where you can employ some1 who let the city people drink sewerage water without being reprimanded. Do you think these guys can get jobs in Botswana, South Africa etc with their current CVs, I wonder. The City of Harare stinks like a sewerage plant, everywhere you go there is garbage lying around and you say there will be brain drain. Dont you think if we are to employ young graduates and give them that money they can perform far much better than these useless cunts or fools. Apa musadzokere shure unless the big saboteur akapindira nekuti ndipo paanoda panenge pakadai.

  9. Tendai says:

    Haaaa… No one will employ them. Let us wait and see kkkkkkkk….

  10. says:

    Brain DRAIN? WHICH BRAIN. I think this current brain needs to be ‘drained awaY. That would be good riddance of bad rubbish

  11. Saddened says:

    Many good comments. For my part I notice that the minister of local government is not mentioned in all this because for longer than I care to remember he has issued directives to the city councils & now all of a sudden he is quiet. Just how long do these councils think we the residents have to wait while the ‘law’ takes it’s course? Just last week they came to cut off my water for balance of less than $ 20!! Seems to me the time has come for us to withhold payment of our rates especially when it going into the pockets of incompetents while we don’t receive the service we have paid for.

  12. Zvorwadza VZ says:

    sabhukuless kana kuti toti Presidentless country

  13. Mixed Race says:

    In fact, I have qualified friends working in Botswana who have been told to leave at the end of their current contracts to open the way for their indigenous people.Therefore, Byo mayor is day dreaming as usual because he got there by chance with his dubious qualifications.
    You need a few qualified pensioners to lead Byo to reeducate the current junior work force which has been poorly trained by these corrupt looters because juniors learn bad habits from their seniors.Try us we will prove to the rest of the world that we can get these cities functioning properly within a year with the same limited resources.Our primary aim is to improve facilities not to accumulate wealth.

  14. Mlimo says:

    We as a nation have to cleanse every corner every institution and every associated person . It is time for a new start with a new everything . Better still bring back the smith regime at least they managed a well run country. All the old racists have died anyway we only have zanupf now and a few MDC. A French Revolution with gullotine? That will be fun we can hear the wimpy washy washy UN screaming blue murder but they didn’t do anything when Mugabe murdered 40,000 Matabele did they? And the British well they went on and knighted robber mugabage . So nothing to fear from the west.

  15. jobolinko says:

    Zanu or Mdc we dont care individuals come and go but councils must deliver with in their means for future generations, we have young people growing up so we must play our part to rout corruption,

  16. Apolitical is rubbing his hands in glee . Yes we agree with you. These people must take the cuts or leave. The only thing is let us not be fooled. These salaries were obviously approved by Chombo. This Ministry is his watch. He started the mess , he must clean it up. There is no country that would have a Ministry in charge of a department that has no recommended or fixed pay scale. In the National Railways you don’t get one Driver earning more than another driver that has the same service unless his pay has been reduced because of disciplinary measures.Hence the recommended pay scales are approved by Government. There is a limit which is set by the Ministry involved. If councils are left to pay the wages at the whims of certain people then what is the point of having a Ministry to overlook how councils are run.

    The Government and the key Political parties need to reign in this corruption right now. This country has had a free for all looting spree for everybody that is running these institutions. Chombo is deep into this to the hilt that is why he has let this go on. Now all the worms are appearing in every sector in the country and it must be condemned without fear or favour. Anybody that say if you pay peanuts you will attract monkeys is insulting the ordinary people of Zimbabwe. If $6000 US is peanuts then what do you say about the $250 US that some are earning.

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