Masvingo (New Ziana) – Non-managerial employees of the Masvingo City Council have demanded a 500 percent salary increment, with effect from last month, citing rising cost of living.
Town Clerk Engineer Edward Mukaratirwa, in a report to council, said the lowest paid employee had a salary of Z$31 360 and a cushioning allowance of US$200 paid in local currency at the prevailing exchange rate.
The employee demands come at a time council was struggling to raise revenue, with rates defaults ballooning to nearly Z$2 billion as at the end of September.
“The (finance) committee expressed serious concern on the rising debtors’ book for low, high density and institutions and the need to collect outstanding debts to preserve value and finance service delivery. The acting Finance Director Danister Jori was instructed to write final letters of demand to all institutional debtors and effect withdrawal of services for those who fail to pay their bills,” council resolved at its last meeting.
As a result, much of its rates collections was used to pay salaries, leaving little for investment in social services in the town.
In the first half of the year, salaries were 39 percent above budget at Z$675 260 325, representing 45 percent of total municipal expenditure for the period.
Council said it was assessing the latest employee salary demand, particularly its impact on its revenue collections.