Harare City Council splashed revenue during the first half of the year with half of its $4,1 billion income being spent on salaries and luxurious trinkets while the critical service delivery was neglected, a report has revealed.
According to the city’s 2021 budget overview and performance review for the period January and June 2021 the council collected $4,1 billion and spent above $1,9 billion on salaries while critical service delivery got a paltry $2,1 billion against a target of $7 billion.
The report comes barely less than two months after our publication exposed that a delay in the conclusion of labour cases against suspended top managers was proving costly as council was paying five bosses hefty salaries and perks being enjoyed also by those in acting capacities.
Town clerk Engineer Hosiah Chisango and other four directors are on suspension including Stanley Ndemera (finance), Addmore Nhekairo (housing), Zvenyika Chawatama (works) and Charles Kandemiri (chamber secretary).
Apart from their salaries which were in the region of $300 000 t0 $320 000 between the period under review, the suspended council top bosses were entitled to allowances including entertainment, airtime, refreshments, public relations and responsibility.
According to the council review budget, the council said its accrued expenditure was $4, 345 billion from January 1 to June 30 2021 against its revenue inflows of $4, 141 billion.
“There is notable perpetuation of the trend in the first quarter where revenue concentrated in goods and services relating mainly to water and sanitation with the cost driver being electricity and water chemicals.
“Furthermore, marked outlays were incurred on salaries, a monthly contractual obligation which expenditure cannot be postponed,” reads the report. The breakdown of the monthly major cost drivers and fiscal space were salaries $423, 51 million, water chemicals $170 million, electricity average charge of $115 million as well as fuels and oils $17 million.
During the period under review fuel consumed on support services by the finance, heads council departments, town clerk and chamber secretary was 11 000l petrol and 5 600l diesel.