HomeNewsGovernmentGweru 2015 budget in limbo

Gweru 2015 budget in limbo

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Gweru mayor Hamutendi Kombayi
Gweru mayor Hamutendi Kombayi

GWERU City Council’s 2015 budget is yet to be approved by the government five months into the year, it has emerged.

Stephen Chadenga

The local authority unveiled a $31 million budget for 2015 last year in November, an increase from $24 million in 2014 with proposals to increase tariffs by 35 % across the board.

But the Local Government, Public Works and National Housing ministry is yet to approve this year’s budget following a directive that council finds a way to slash salaries for its workforce.

“Council has to find ways to cut on its salaries before the budget can be approved,” minutes from a council meeting held last week reveals.

Gweru Mayor Hamutendi Kombayi confirmed the budget was yet to be ratified and said council was working on modalities to comply with the ministry directive.

A fortnight ago operations at the municipality were paralysed after employees embarked on a strike over outstanding salaries and bonuses.

The workers suspended the industrial action after management agreed to settle February salaries for the lower grades by the end of this week.

Council’s wage bill currently stands at $888 000 – about 72 % of its monthly income.

The cash-strapped local authority has been struggling to meet its salary obligations as income declines in a challenging economy.

Ward 5 councillor, Moses Marecha, revealed at a media engagement meeting early this year that top management at the municipality were taking up to $38 000, middle management, $350 000 and the rest of the workers $500 000 in salaries.

Late last year, finance committee chairperson, Albert Chirau, said council’s revenue inflows stood at $1,1 million.

The council’s revenue base has taken a massive hit as both residents and corporate organisations struggle to pay for service delivery in an increasingly worsening economic environment.

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