BY MTHANDAZO NYONI
PLUMTREE residents have warned Local Government minister July Moyo against awarding hefty salaries and allowances to councillors, saying the move would cripple service delivery in local authorities.
The warning comes after Urban Councils Association of Zimbabwe president, Josiah Makombe, through a communiqué dated January 15 2021, directed all urban councils in the country to pay councillors hefty salaries and allowances as set out at various levels based on percentages that are paid to Members of Parliament.
“Reference is made to the address by the Honourable Local Government minister, July Moyo during the 79th AGM held on December 13 2020 at the Elephant Hills Hotel.
“He pointed out that councillors should be paid levels of allowances set out at various levels based on percentages that are paid to Members of Parliament as enumerated in Circular No 13 of November 11 2019,” the letter read.
“He (Moyo) said that councils must note that adjustments of allowances paid to councillors will have to follow any alterations to those paid to Members of Parliament.
“Councils need not to wait for another circular as long as they have obtained reliable information on the adjustment to the salaries of Members of Parliament.”
“It is against this background that the Presidential Committee at its meeting of January 13, 2021 resolved to recommend that councillors be paid their outstanding allowances backdated from January 2020 up to October 2020.
“Councils must effect the latest adjustment from December 2020 in line with the increase of allowances for the Members of Parliament which is at a rate of $47 002.”
“May councils implement the councillors’ allowances to the letter and spirit of the Circular 13 without further delay and prejudice to councillors’ welfare,” wrote Makombe, who is also Gweru mayor.
However, Plumtree Combined Residents and Development Association (Pcrada) chairperson, Richard Khumalo said the move would cripple service delivery.
“This will disrupt service delivery because all the money will be channelled towards salaries and allowances.
“Ratepayers are struggling to honour their obligations due to a declining economy exacerbated by the outbreak of COVID-19.
“So, this shows that service delivery will be affected as some money set aside for service delivery will be diverted to cover increased policymakers’ salaries and allowances.
“This is not a good move at this time. It can be considered later when the country’s economy gets better.
“Even if the amount is not yet known, we have to give the relevant minister the warning not to give more than we can afford as ratepayers,” Khumalo said.
Plumtree residents have always clashed with the local authority over poor service delivery and corruption, lack of potable water and poor road infrastructure.
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