via Salaries: Mahachi under fire Sunday, 09 March 2014 Sunday Mail
Harare City Council Town Clerk Dr Tendai Mahachi has been given a two-week ultimatum to pay council workers who have gone for two months without pay. Failure to do so will see him facing the axe, a full council meeting held at Town House last week resolved. The resolution came after some heated debate over the issue of outstanding salaries with councillors accusing Dr Mahachi of failing to execute his duties.
The councillors expressed concern at the fact that senior council managers have not bothered to explain to workers why they have not been paid for the past two months.
Councillor Wellington Chikombo, who heads council’s human resources committee, urged management to ensure that workers are paid without delay.
He called on Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni to be tough on Dr Mahachi.
“I understand that it is your duty, Your Worship, to make sure that the town clerk works,” said Clr Chikombo, adding that Dr Mahachi should be given two weeks to clear the salary arrears.
“Failure to do so will result in us taking action. We cannot afford to have workers go for three months without salaries because that compromises service delivery.
“We give the town clerk two weeks to make sure that he clears the salaries backlog.”
The motion was seconded by several councillors before being adopted.
Away from the salary stand-off, the councillors also took issue with the number of foreign trips being undertaken by the mayor and some senior council officials.
The irate councillors immediately demanded that the allowances for a trip that Mayor Manyenyeni and Dr Mahachi are set to undertake next month be cut from US$27 000 to US$8 000.
The town clerk and the mayor are supposed to travel to Colombia to attend a workshop on city development.
Deputy Mayor Clr Thomas Muzuva Musarurwa proposed that the allowances be cut down to US$8 000, citing council’s poor revenue base.
He also suggested that the mayor and town clerk use a facility that will see two council employees travelling to Colombia for other business during the same month.
“Since we have people who have been invited by Bill and Melinda to Colombia and have been guaranteed free air tickets and accommodation, I suggest the mayor and town clerk utilise that arrangement instead of the workers.
“Through that proposal we can cut down on the US$27 000 to US$3 000. We cannot afford to waste money when the workers are not being paid,” he said.
In response, Mayor Manyenyeni claimed that they will seek “to find the cheapest means of getting to Colombia.”
A visibly irate Mayor Manyenyeni added that he accounts for “every cent” when he travels abroad.
“For the record, the mayor will not spend a single cent which will not have been accounted for and I am very clear on that. During the last trip I had sought the cheapest flight and ended up using US$8 000 instead of the US$27 000 that had been budgeted for it,” he said.