HARARE mayor Bernard Manyenyeni has refused to endorse the proposed 2018 city council budget, demanding that among other things management should first cut down on non-service delivery expenses.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
“The draft budget now awaits the mayor’s signature which this year will be withheld until certain mischief and offending expenditures are arrested. It will be my last budget signature – very unfair for my successor to inherit some of the jokes we have here,” he said.
Manyenyeni said he wants a massive cut on the money spent by the local authority in funding the city’s football team and hefty salaries paid out to council workers.
“I will seat down with management to discuss the issues that if brought out in the public domain will be an embarrassment to us as a city. Among them is the money spent on the football team.
Salaries and allowances in 2016 alone gobbled $116,3 million being 29,9% of total expenditure while the remaining $229,2 million was supposed to go towards service delivery.
However, with revenues to the local authority dropping by close to 50%, the salaries and allowances bill has consumed over 60% of collected revenue.
Harare City Football Club has had an expenditure of $5,5 million in 2016 although it has been cut down, Manyenyeni said it was just too much for the city to fund such an expense.
Attempts by Manyenyeni to rationalise the council wage bill have been resisted, with council nurses earning twice as much as their government counterparts.
Last year, Local Government, minister Saviour Kasukuwere rejected Harare’s proposed $448 million budget for 2017, saying it was too high and unrealistic.
He then approved a revised budget of $328,2 million.