By Kwekwe Correspondent
GOVERNMENT ministers are getting no more than $5 in allowances when travelling on government business, a cabinet member has claimed.
Top economist and government advisor Ashok Chakravati recently indicated that nearly 40 percent of government’s recurrent expenditure is gobbled by allowances for top administration officials.
But if revelations by local government minister July Moyo are anything to go by, that would exclude President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s cabinet,.
Moyo told councillors from the Midlands province at a meeting in Gweru on Monday that ministers get just $5 when travelling on government business.
He was responding to former Gweru mayor Hamutendi Kombayi who had asked for a review of the $10 travel and subsistence allowance limit for councillors.
“The $10-dollar allowance we get when doing council business (is too) little; we cannot do much with it,” said Kombayi who is now Ward 2 councillor.
“It’s unfair on our side considering what drivers are getting when going out yet we are the ones who have much work which demands that we (go into) the field.”
According to minister Moyo however, the councillors should consider themselves lucky.
“You are lucky as councillors that you are getting $10 when you travel on council business. Ministers are getting five dollars and, just like councillors, they have accommodation and food paid for,” said Moyo.
Kombayi, now councillor for Gweru’s Ward 2, insisted that the allowance needed to be reviewed upwards.
Tongogara rural district council’s Wilbert Rambanapasi weighed in, backing Kombayi.
“Most of our councillors have to walk for more than 40 km to conduct their duties as they do not even own bicycles,” he said.
“The general allowance which they are receiving is not enough or befitting the status of a councillor. We need to feed the body that works if we (are to get) results.”
Minister Moyo was however, adamant that the allowance should be varied downwards.
“The allowance you are crying (about) is a not a condition of service,” he said.
“As councillors, you have powers to legislate and regulate the allowance, but, if it is to be reviewed, it must be downwards.”
He added; “What you have to understand is that the money is variable it changes from time to time.
“There was a time when we used to give workers in foreign missions more money than the President’s salary because we were looking at the cost of living in the countries they were operating in.
“(But) we revised the allowances because they are not a condition of service. The condition of service is the salaries.”