via 2 000 Harare City Council workers face axe March 6, 2014 by Moses Matenga NewsDay
THE MDC-T-dominated Harare City Council is today set to debate and adopt a proposal to shed off more than 2 000 jobs to rationalise the ballooning municipality wage bill.
Impeccable sources in the council’s human resources committee told NewsDay yesterday that the committee had recommended the workforce be reduced from 9 000 to 6 500 workers from the shop floor to top executives.
The council’s top management is made up of 60 heads of departments or divisions of which 16 are directors.
Council officials yesterday said the major shakeup was beneficial for the operations of the local authority currently weighed down by the bloated workforce, with some workers said to be over the retirement age of 60 years.
“The committee will make recommendations tomorrow (today) on the matter which may be adopted by a full council meeting. Once adopted, then the implementation of the resolutions (will) begin. We are looking at about 2 000 people who may be affected in the exercise,” the officials said.
Town clerk Tendai Mahachi last week told Parliament that the city council was planning to cut its top management by 50%.
“We are also reducing at the bottom. For example, the sweeping staff in the CBD; that job can be done by mechanical sweepers and the equipment is yet to come,” he said.
Mahachi has for the past fortnight been at the centre of a storm after he allegedly refused to furnish councillors with the council’s executive payroll amid reports that the top 18 executives were earning a combined $500 000 per month.
Mahachi was reportedly getting $37 000, but he later told Parliament that his monthly earnings were around
Following his alleged refusal to disclose the salary schedule to council, Mahachi was suspended by mayor Bernard Manyenyeni, but the decision was immediately rescinded following a directive from Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo.
Contacted for comment yesterday, human resources committee chairperson Wellington Chikombo said: “I will be in a position to comment after deliberations and adoption by full council tomorrow (today).”
The council was also in the process of rationalising salaries and allowances for top management following Chombo’s directive that salary costs should be about 30% of total revenue at the most.
Council has also engaged external auditors to plug revenue leakages, among a host of other austerity measures meant to restore sanity at Town House.