Harare, March 20, 2014-Harare City Council sent six directors on retrenchment yesterday, the first batch to go in an exercise that will result in 10 of the senior employees being relieved of their duties to cut on employment costs.Council recently collapsed several departments in a new structure that is expected to be effective, resulting in some directors becoming redundant.
Council sources said the first victims were city treasurer Mr Misheck Mubvumbi, Mr Cosmas Zvikaramba business development manager, housing and community services Mr Justine Chivavaya, urban planning services Mr Psychology Chivanga, engineering services Eng Philip Pfukwa, director amenities Mr Dombo Chibanda and an executive Mr Stewart Mungofa.
Four more directors are still facing the chop in the exercise that is expected to see ten directors share US$3 million as part of their retrenchment package.
Human resources and general purposes committee chairperson councillor Wellington Chikombo confirmed that some of the directors received their letters of retrenchment.
“I have been told that Town Clerk Dr Tendai Mahachi has started implementing the council resolution and some directors have already started receiving their letters,” he said.
“Council is in the process of calculating retrenchment packages.”
Cllr Chikombo said the post of finance director was still vacant and would be advertised soon.
In the collapsed departments, housing and community services and the Chamber Secretary’s office will form corporate services; while engineering services, waste management and urban planning now fall under the department of works.
The new structure will comprise the departments of Corporate Services, Finance, Health, Department of Human Resources and Public Safety and Works.
The retrenchment of another 1 190 ordinary employees — including 10 middle managers — is likely to gobble millions more as the city begins rationalising its workforce and slashing its salary bill.
Remuneration was consuming more than half of Harare’s revenue until Government directed a pay cut for all local authorities and parastatal bosses.
Harare councillors recently approved the trimming of the number of council directors, reducing the complement of middle managers and the retrenchment of 1 190 workers.
The city has 45 middle managers and an overall workforce of 6 348.
Council’s human capital director Dr Cainos Chingombe has since advised that both external and internal legal opinion had been sought on the matter.
The city’s 18 directors were gobbling over US$500 000 in salaries monthly at a time service delivery plummeted to levels where the municipality can not replace street light bulbs.