Masvingo, February 20, 2014 – Masvingo residents have called on the city council to produce salary schedules for its top management amid unconfirmed reports that the wage bill gobbles 75 percent of total revenue.
Residents representative, Masvingo United Residents and Ratepayers Association (MURRA) coordinator Anoziva Muguti said they have petitioned the Town Clerk, Adolph Gusha requesting the release of the salary schedule.
This comes in the wake of allegations that senior staff in most local authorities in the country earn obscene salaries while junior staff go for months without receiving their dues and they do this at the expense of service delivery.
Muguti said the petition was signed by more than two hundred residents and it is demanding the release of salary schedule of Council’s top management especially, the Town Clerk.
He said allegations are rife that top management take home astronomical figures and yet the junior staff especially non-professionals spend several months without getting their dues.
“As MURRA representing the needs of residents we have been tasked to demand the salary schedules for top management. It is widely alleged that the top management earn obscene salaries while junior staff wallow in abject poverty and service delivery plummeting. We therefore demand that the management clears itself of these allegations through the unconditional release of a salary schedule for the Council’s senior staff,” said Muguti.
He said it is residents’ constitutional right to demand evidence on how their rates are being utilised by Council adding that there is great fear that the poor service delivery that is witnessed could be as a result of a huge and skewed wage bill.
“As residents, our greatest fear is that, the wage bill for the top management could be gobbling three quarters of the total revenue and as a result this has compromised service delivery. We have to know what the senior management is earning so that, as ratepayers we do not speculate on how our rates are being spent. This will also put to rest allegations that the Council does not prioritise service delivery. When other local authorities are asked to furnish residents with such information, there is nothing that stops us from demanding same information, as ratepayers,” he said.
Contacted for comment, Masvingo City Council mayor Council Hubert Fidze confirmed receiving a copy of the petition but said the council was asked by parent Ministry to provide the schedule and have since done it.
“I can confirm getting a copy of the petition from residents. Fortunately or unfortunately we have provided the Local Government, Urban and Rural Development Minisiter Dr Ignatious Chombo with that information. My hands are tied now that I cannot release that information without the authority of my boss, who is the minister in this case; neither the Town Clerk would do that. We do not want to preempt anything as I believe the parent ministry will make all that information known by the public, “said Clr Fidze.
Fidze however, allayed fears of obscene salaries saying the wage bill for Masvingo City was within normal parameters.
“While we cannot stop speculations that the top management here is earning obscene salaries, Masvingo does not have those five figures. The salary for top management especially the Town Clerk is nowhere near the $14 000, 00 mark as speculated by many. We however, maintain that we would rather wait for communication from the minister himself before we furnish residents with such information,” he said.
Tell Zimbabwe (Masvingo). http://www.tell.co.zw