The Sunday News
Vusumuzi Dube, Municipal Reporter
THE Bulawayo City Council is likely to face the wrath of residents and junior staffers as it has emerged that top officials will soon be getting top-of-the-range vehicles as part of their perks.
This comes just a month after the local authority was heavily criticised after they bought their mayor, Councillor Martin Moyo a luxurious Mercedes Benz GLE 250 class for a whopping $118 000. The local authority has reportedly budgeted $599 000 for the exercise.
The move, which has already been endorsed by Cabinet, will see council’s “Executive” group getting luxurious vehicles as part of moves to improve the conditions of employment for them. The executive group comprises the city’s Town Clerk, Mr Christopher Dube; Chamber Secretary, Mrs Sikhangele Zhou; Finance Director, Mr Kimpton Ndimande; Engineering Services Director, Engineer Simela Dube and is also set to include the human resources manager, Mr Makhosi Tshalebwa who, according to the council’s restructuring scheme will be elevated to directorship position.
However, Mr Tshabelwa will only receive the vehicle after the confirmation of the new department of human capital according to recommendations of the staff rationalisation, restructuring and job evaluation exercise.
Council last gave their top officials loans to purchase top-of-the-range vehicles in 2011. This time around directors have been given a cap of $80 000 while the Town Clerk, Mr Christopher Dube will be given $119 000 to purchase his vehicle.
Confirming these developments Mr Dube said this was in line with what was happening with all local authorities in the country where directors were given conditions of service vehicles.
“These vehicles are part of conditions of services where they will use them for five years then be able to buy them at book value. The local authority came up with this perk after the salary rationalisation exercise which was ordered by the Government, where we were then given the mandate to further negotiate with our directors to come up with other perks.
“This move is not a BCC move but it is synonymous with all other local authorities where directors are given these conditions of service vehicles. For now we had budgeted for six directors and the town clerk but we are now waiting for the confirmation of the sixth department which is that of human capital. The directors have a budget of $80 000 each while the Town Clerk’s budget is $119 000,” said Mr Dube.
A couple of months ago the “executive members” had their previous vehicle loan balances reduced and cut off with the senior officials utilising their leave days to pay off the balances. According to a confidential report Mrs Zhou who was left with a vehicle loan balance of $21 040 was left with $7 of her loan as her leave days were worth $21 147, Mr Ndimande had a minus balance as he was left with $26 012 to pay for his vehicle loan with his leave days worth $26 055. Engineer Dube’s vehicle loan was left with $24 300, while his leave days were valued at $24 362 while the human resources manager, Mr Tshalebwa, on the other hand- who got his loan later than others- was left with $19 791 of his loan which was pegged at $49 871 and his leave days had a net value of $30 080.