LOCAL Government and National Housing minister Ignatius Chombo has dispatched a probe team to Gwanda council following revelations that the town clerk earns $18 000 a month.
Chombo made the announcement in the National Assembly last week while responding to Kambuzuma MP Willies Madzimure’s inquiry on who sets salaries for town clerks.
This comes hot on the heels of revelations that Gwanda’s outgoing town clerk Gilbert Mlilo’s salary was the second highest remuneration paid to local authorities’ chief executives with a gross salary of $18 945,81 per month.
Chombo told the National Assembly that he earned less than $2 000, but with allowances added on he raked in $18 000.
He said appropriate action would be taken if the claims were found to be true.
Madzimure asked: “Minister, you have been the minister all along — who was actually determining the salaries of town clerks?
“Considering a town council like Gwanda, the town clerk was getting more than the Gweru or even Mutare town clerk. Who was actually determining these salaries before?”
Chombo responded: “From his question, you can tell that, of all the 92 local authorities, the majority of the local authorities’ salaries for their CEOs were not obscene, but I am also concerned about Gwanda. We have sent a team to investigate.
“He is said to be earning, by way of salary, less than $2 000, but when you factor in the benefits, $18 000. I found that to be quite difficult, but I thought I should be double sure by sending officials to go and audit that. If it is found to be true, appropriate consequences will befall the mayor,” said Chombo.
Knowledge Ndlovu of Zanu PF is the mayor.
Last month, it emerged that Mlilo takes home $18 945,81 a month more than double the gross salary of the Bulawayo town clerk which is pegged at $9 439,19.
According to a government schedule, the lowest paid town clerk is that of Gweru who has a gross salary of $5 506.