By James Muonwa
LOCAL Government, Public Works and National Housing minister July Moyo has written to local authorities around the country instructing them to stop using land to settle salary arrears for senior managers.
In recent years, both urban and rural councils, were parcelling out residential, commercial and industrial stands, particularly to senior managers, in lieu of salaries.
In a circular directed to mayors and chief executive officers, Moyo decreed an end to the practice.
“It has been noted that most local authorities, both urban and rural, are including land/stands in their conditions of services for employees. The conditions relating to the establishment and use of the estates account is clearly provided for in Section 300 of the Urban Councils Act (29:15) and Section 128 of the Rural District Councils Act (29:13) on Capital Development Fund,” Moyo wrote.
He ordered an immediate reversal of all such resolutions, emphasising that councils must generate income to be able to pay employees cash-based salaries.
“It is, therefore, critical to note that any resolutions or conditions of services that freely allocates stands to managers should be rescinded and be excluded as part of conditions of services for employees,” he said.
“In this view, councils should endeavour to compensate their employees through recurrent expenditure votes in council budgets,” said Moyo.
Most councils were now in the habit of doling out stands to workers as payment for backdated salaries, a development that has seen council employees owning multiple stands at the expense of prospective homeowners who spend years on the housing waiting list.