The Herald (Harare)

8 March 2014

Zimbabwe: Council Top Brass to Share U.S $3 Million As City Downsizes

Ten City of Harare directors will share US$3 million as part of their retrenchment package. The retrenchment of another 1 190 ordinary employees - including 10 middle managers - is likely to gobble millions more as the city begins rationalising its workforce and slashing its salary bill.Remuneration consumes more than half of Harare's revenue, with directors earning between US$17 000 and US$36 000 monthly.

The council will also stop paying retention allowances.

Harare has collapsed several departments and these include housing and community services and the Chamber Secretary's office, which will form corporate services; while engineering services, waste management and urban planning now fall under the department of works.

This will leave 10 directors jobless.

The new structure will comprise the departments of Corporate Services, Finance, Health, Department of Human Resources and Public Safety and Works.

Human resources and general purposes committee chairperson councillor Wellington Chikombo yesterday said the directors were likely to be given a year's salaries as retirement packages.

This is because they were on one-year renewable contracts.

"Normal retirement packages will be given to those who are being retired. It is better for council to look for that money than to continue to be in burden.

"It is a matter of implementing council policy. They have been working very hard but we are now saying the time has come for them to retire," he said.

Clr Chikombo said they were downsizing and prioritising service delivery as directed by Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Dr Ignatius Chombo.

Harare councillors have approved the trimming of the number of council directors, reducing the complement of middle managers, and retrenchment of 1 190 workers.

According to the Human Resources and General Purposes Committee meeting minutes of February 4, 2012 4 - as approved by the full council on Thursday - the city's director of human capital, Dr Cainos Chingombe, told councillors they would engage workers set for retrenchment.

"The committee considered a confidential report by the town clerk recommending approval of the reduction of council's departments to six including the town clerk's office but excluding the department of Harare Water, reduction of middle managers to 35, reduction of work force by 1 196, and retention allowance across council," read part of the minutes.

There are presently 45 middle managers and an overall workforce of 6 348.

Dr Chingombe "also advised that both external and internal legal opinion had been sought on the matter. He further took the committee through the proposed organisational structures and outlined the strategies for streamlining council's departments".

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