Council allowance uproar

Senior Bulawayo City Council officials and councillors have rejected a motion to have their perks and allowances scrapped as the local authority attempts to put in place cost cutting measures.

The local authority recently reported that it was in a dire financial crisis, with projections that if the situation was to continues, it would be bankrupt by December.

According to a confidential council report, councillors with the support of senior council officials rejected a motion calling for them to stay in 4-star hotels instead of the 5-star hotels they frequent while on council business. The motion would also have cut the $50 a day incidental allowance while on council business.

“We cannot book into 5-star hotels when we are struggling to pay workers,” reads part of the motion that was submitted by the Deputy mayor, Amen Mpofu.

He further proposed a travel allowance for councillors, instead of incidentals.

According to the report, the town clerk, Middleton Nyoni rejected the motion on the basis that the rates did not create animosity among workers.

According to council sources the officials clandestinely brought the issue back to council, taking advantage of the fact that the majority of councillors had travelled to Durban to sign a Memorandum of Understanding.

The source said the passing of the resolution was causing some tension between the senior officials and lower ranked workers who believed that the officials were ignoring their plea for better salaries.

“We are struggling to pay our workers on time and we are considering desperate measures such as retrenchment. Then we go on to approve these increments, this is a clear sign of hypocrisy,” said the source.

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