Kasukuwere cuts Mutare salaries and perks

The Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Savior Kasukuwere has ordered the immediate rationalisation of salaries and an end to all allowances and perks for Mutare City Council’s senior management.

The Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Savior Kasukuwere

The Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Savior Kasukuwere

This order was related via a letter to the acting Town Clerk regarding the $16 million Mutare City Council 2016 budget, Kasukuwere stated that council’s employment costs were unacceptably high and that it requires attention.

The Minister is of the opinion that senior management salaries should be rationalised and that all allowances and perks should be suspended.

“If and where necessary, new contracts should be drafted and signed in order to reduce employment costs,” the Minister stated in the letter.

Contacted for a comment by the Mayor of Mutare, Tatenda Nhamarare told this reporter that the council are working towards Kasukuwere’s orders as part and parcel of its recovery plan.

In the Council ‘Special Audit’ report released by the ministry last month, it was revealed that senior management’s salaries and allowances were very high and had not been rationalised as per a ministerial directive issued in 2014.

The audit report further noted that eleven senior managers’ salaries and perks did not conform to the 2015 budget. In fact, council had totally ignored the ministerial directive to rationalise salaries and scrap allowances.

For example, the directive required that the maximum earnings in respect of salaries and allowances for grade 16 (Town Clerk) be pegged at $4550 – council upped the salary to $9 288.

Grade 15 (Director of Housing, Acting Chief Hygiene Officer, Acting Chamber Secretary, City Engineer and Finance Director) was pegged at $3 900 – council paid $7 416.

Chief Planner, grade 14, pegged at $3250 – council paid $6244.

Grade 13 (Human Resources Manager, Chief Security Officer, Senior Planning Officer and Clinical Officer) pegged at $2600 – council paid them $5 080.

“Failure by the council to implement the 2014 ministerial directive is financial mismanagement. Council ended up plunged into debts in order to finance its working capital requirements,” read the report.

Former Town Clerk Obert Muzawazi, one of the senior top managers implicated in alleged corruption following a special audit investigation, has since resigned.

The report exposed rampant corruption in the allocation of land and handling of cash. In some instances, council managers allegedly awarded themselves subsidised loans, enjoyed subsidised overseas holidays and enrolled children into expensive schools and universities with the local authority footing the bills.

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