New Zimbabwe (London)

Zimbabwe: Chombo Re-Instates Super Pay Harare Town Clerk

LOCAL government minister, Ignatius Chombo, has reinstated suspended Harare town clerk Tendai Mahachi with a revised contract and salary.

Mahachi was suspended by mayor, Bernard Manyenyeni, for three months pending investigations into his conduct after he refused to hand over the salary schedule for executives at Town House to councillors as per council resolutions.

A salary schedule for the top 18 managers at town house leaked last week showed that Mahachi was taking home about $37,000 while his deputies were getting an average of $36,000.

Close to $500,000 was being spent on salaries for directors alone while general workers went for months without pay.

Council is yet to pay December and November salaries to most of its workforce while directors are said to have received the bonuses on top of their December wages.

This prompted Manyenyeni to suspend Mahachi who had refused to hand over a correct salary schedule for himself and of his subordinates.

However, on Saturday morning Chombo, using his ministerial powers, overturned the suspension telling the mayor and his town clerk to work together for the good of the capital.

The Zanu PF minister told reporters that the leaked salary schedule was unlawfully acquired by Manyenyeni from a Harare city council official in Kadoma.

Overruled ... Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni told he can't refuse Chombo's directive

He also claimed that salaries in the schedule were in fact six months back payments for the listed managers.

"Mayor varikuda kushinga nekudzinga but tati mozomudzinga next time iyezvino imbomupai maconditions ekuti ita ichi kana wazochitadza mozodzinga and the Mayor has accepted the apology given to him by the Town Clerk," said Chombo.

"I expect they will work together for the good of the city," he added.

Under the revised contract unveiled at the press briefing which was attended by Manyenyeni and his deputy, Chombo said Mahachi will now get a gross salary of $14,874 and a housing allowance of $2500.

The Town clerk is also free to buy his official vehicle at book value after every five years of service.

According to Chombo, Mahachi will now forgo entertainment allowances, free school fees as well as holiday allowances.

However, Manyenyeni refused to accept the decision by Chombo to overturn Mahachi's suspension making his thoughts known to the minister before journalists.

"On the issue of suspension, I beg to differ," Manyenyeni told Chombo immediately.

But the minister shot back saying it was a ministerial directive which the mayor cannot overturn.

Among a cocktail of decisions made by Chombo which the mayor and his deputy agreed to, is the trimming of council departments from the current 16 to six.

The development means, a number of directors will find themselves jobless.

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