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Gweru wage bill too high: Commission

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Gweru City Council’s wage bill is too high compared to revenue being generated by the local authority, chairperson of the commission running affairs of the city said.

by Stephen Chadenga

The three-member commission led by former Masvingo town clerk Tsunga Mhangami was last week appointed by Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere to run the affairs of Gweru council following the suspension of all councillors. Other commissioners are Mark Choga and Parenyi Chomunorwa.

Mhangami said the commission was seized with finding alternative ways to raise revenue in order to meet the day-to-day operations.

“We have a huge wage bill yet the revenue that is coming in is far less than what is paid to employees,” Mhangami told journalists yesterday.
“We have to work on alternative ways to raise revenue as well as options on how to deal with the huge workforce.”

Gweru’s wage bill currently stands at $888 000 per month, which is about 72% of its monthly income. The money is distributed among a 1 300-strong workforce.

Mhangami, however, ruled out firing workers as the immediate solution, saying the commission was looking at various options to help the cash-strapped local authority find its feet.

He bemoaned revenue coming from the water account as well as the city’s deteriorating health infrastructure.

“The city’s water account is not bringing in money and there are lots of discrepancies that have to be resolved.

“We have a health department with only two unreliable refuse trucks instead of the normal five trucks, hence the city has become very filthy,” Mhangami said.

He appealed to residents to save the city from collapse by honouring their obligations through paying bills.

Gweru mayor Hamutendi Kombayi
Gweru mayor Hamutendi Kombayi

Turning to the issue of suspended mayor Hamutendi Kombayi still holding on to the council vehicle, Mhangami said it was the mandate of the town clerk, Daniel Matawu to deal with the matter.

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