Council Mulls Retrenchment

Harare City Council is considering downsizing its workforce as it seeks to balance its books and adhere to Government’s salary-service delivery ratio of 70:30.

Currently, Harare spends over 50 percent of revenue on labour costs.

Responding to stakeholders’ concerns at a pre-budget meeting last Thursday, acting town clerk Mrs Josephine Ncube said the city intended to improve its efficiency and effectiveness.

“In terms of the structure and numbers we have to check if we have the optimum or the structure that is commensurate with the strategy and the services that we are supposed to deliver. As we are going through, obviously we will find areas that we are going to reduce in terms of the numbers,” she said.

“We are also looking at areas were we need to rationalise in terms of the salaries themselves. We have also engaged zimra because when you look at that zimra debt $120 million is in penalties. We got a very good response and we are on a route that can enable us to properly deal with that.”

Mrs Ncube said the city will also look into its rates after business complained that they were on the higher side.

Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni said the city will try to deliver success in difficult conditions.

“The city treasurer (Mr Tendai Kwenda) talked about the $700 million debtors. As we speak in the last three weeks we have lost value there. All our debts are going to be paid by people burning money through RTGS transfers,” he said.

“Our commitment and obligations require real money. There is no one who is going to give us fuel using bond notes. So that $700 million is now $400 million by the time it is settled, if its settled, it will be $150 million. So we are losing value as we speak.”

Mayor Manyenyeni bemoaned lack of Government funding. – Herald