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City needs $150 million
Patrick Chitumba

Gweru needs $150m for efficient delivery services
GWERU City Council needs about $150 million to start efficiently delivering services after years of mismanagement and corruption.

The city’s new town clerk, Ms Elizabeth Gwatipedza said for the municipality to be able to provide quality services to residents and the business community, it requires the staggering amount of money.

“The road network is bad, water supply is erratic, there are no vehicles for management and service delivery and for us to have those things and be able to fully service our residents and business community, we need $150 million,” she said in an interview on Wednesday.

Ms Gwatipedza said council was in the red and residents as well as companies, some of which she said had shut down owed council about $130 million.

She said council had over $40 million in liabilities and $9 million was due to the Local Authorities Pension Fund.

“We have a wage bill of $1,3 million per month yet council is getting on average of $1,5 million. We have realised that the wage bill is not sustainable. The money we are getting is going towards salaries and nothing to service delivery. The Government has said the wage bill is not sustainable, either we raise revenue or we find strategies to rationalise the salaries,” she said.

Ms Gwatipedza said Government had approved council’s standstill budget of $41 million for this year.

She said the budget was approved last month and among conditions for the approval was the need to address the huge salary bill.

The town clerk said Government also wanted council to computerise its operations.

Ms Gwatipedza said a big town like Gweru does not have houses for senior management, a situation she said compromises them.

“They have said I can stay at the mayoral mansion but the property is dilapidated. They say it needs $40 000 to be rehabilitated and I said ‘no’ because that money can purchase a new house. Managers also have no official vehicles and that needs to be looked at,” she said.

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