Harare residents have threatened to boycott payment of rates until the directors who received excessive salaries and allowances have reimbursed council.More than 40 city executives allegedly defied Government’s directive to cut salaries last year and continued to earn mega salaries.
According to an audit report sanctioned by the Local Government, Public Works and National Housing ministry, seven executives continued to earn between $12 000 and $21 000 from October 2014 to June 2015, as opposed to $10 450 for the highest earner stipulated by Government.
The Harare Residents Trust said, “The ongoing water disconnections by the City of Harare should stop immediately. Residents will not be cowed into entering unsustainable payment plans, which are only designed to exploit the poor, while the councillors and senior management of council have it all good.
“Let us not sustain their luxurious lives and make them realise that the resident is the king, the queen, and cannot be hoodwinked by Town House anymore. The HRT is busy in the community raising awareness of the ongoing massive corruption around housing delivery, water connections, business development units,” said HRT.
Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni however urged residents not to boycott saying, council was taking necessary steps to address the issue.
“We are already doing what needs to be done. It has taken us long, but the issue is very much alive. This is part of the 10 Point Plan I have given to the acting town clerk. We will wait for council or independent help,” he said.
Councillors are expected to hold a “special council meeting today to consider the sending of some directors on leave for a period of three months or such other time as council might determine.”
“Council is in possession of an audit report from the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing on the employment costs compliance investigation of executive payroll dated June 30, 2016.
“We, the undersigned councillors, do hereby make this request for a special meeting to urgently consider resolving to put acting town clerk Dr Cainos Chingombe, director Health Services Dr prosper Chonzi, Director of Works En Phillip Pfukwa, and acting finance director Eng Phillip Pfukwa and acting finance director Mr Tendai Kwenda on leave with full benefits for a period of three months or such other time as council may determine,” reads the meeting request.
The councillors said the basis for their placement on leave is to give council time to consider the implications of the audit report in which their conduct has been brought into question.
They said it was in the interest of council that while the issue is under consideration they may be given leave of absence from their offices. Herald