Bulawayo councillors last week almost manhandled council officials after their request to get allowances to attend MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai’s burial in Buhera was turned down.
The councillors, who all are from the opposition party, reportedly approached the Town Clerk, Mr Christopher Dube initially for allowances to attend their late leader’s funeral and when that was proving impossible they then demanded that the local authority gives them an advance of their monthly allowances, a request which was also rejected by council management.
Confirming the developments, public relations officer Miss Bongiwe Ngwenya said after advising the councillors on the implications of their requests they then opted to provide them transport and fuel for the close to 400-kilometre journey.
“The City of Bulawayo gave advice to councillors and facilitated transport for them to travel to Buhera,” said Miss Ngwenya.
Council sources revealed that the councillors were given two minibuses, with the Mayor, Councillor Martin Moyo having his car fuelled for him. Clr Moyo was the official chosen representative for the local authority at the burial, with councillors reportedly coming after demanding that the local authority fund their trip.
“Councillors felt they had to be given allowances to attend Mr Tsvangirai’s burial in Buhera, they actually sent a delegation to Mr Dube to make their demands. However, it was difficult for management to approve this because this was illegal and was tantamount to abusing council resources. When their initial proposal fell through they then requested that they get an advance in their salaries again upon consultation with other directors, Mr Dube rejected this but instead advised them that the best which the local authority could do was to provide transport for them to travel to Buhera,” said the council source.
Last year, the Government pegged monthly allowances for Mayors and councillors stating that the Harare Mayor is supposed to get $1 250, his deputy; $840, Harare committee chairpersons get $560 while ordinary councillors get $550. In Bulawayo the Mayor is supposed to get $1 000, deputy mayor; $660, council committee chairperson; $450 while an ordinary councillor gets $400. In other cities the mayor must get $840, deputy mayor; $550, committee chairperson; $370 and ordinary councillor; $350.
Municipal mayors get $600, deputy mayors; $400, committee chairpersons; $300 and ordinary councillors; $300. Town local board mayors get $560, deputy mayors; $350, committee chairpersons; $300 and councillors; $250.
For Lupane and Chirundu councils the mayors get $350, deputy mayors; $280, committee chairpersons; $240 while ordinary councillors get $200. Sunday News