ZIMBABWE Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) notes with great concern the failure by local authorities including the City of Harare to adhere to the costs and expenditure ratio set out in Ministerial Circular No.4 of 2013, which provides that employee costs should not exceed 30% of total expenditure, as 70% should be channelled towards service delivery.
The proposed 2018 budget for the City of Harare reveals anticipated revenue of $269.3 million, with $114.8 million expected to be channelled towards salaries and allowances for the City of Harare employees. This amounts to 42.6% of the total revenue.
The City of Harare’s failure to adhere to the 30:70 ratio is grossly irresponsible and clearly shows lack of commitment by city council officials to prioritise funding of essential services that include provision of quality education, water and sanitation services.
The high wage bill has also made it impossible for council to adequately maintain infrastructure, resulting in the spread of preventable diseases caused by poor sanitation and mismanagement of waste.
ZLHR reminds local authorities that they have a constitutional mandate, as one of the three tiers of government to safeguard the public interest and work towards the progressive realisation of all constitutionally guaranteed social and economic rights.
In the circumstances, ZLHR urges the City of Harare to:
- Strictly adhere to Ministerial Circular No.4 of 2013 and ensure that salaries and allowances do not exceed 30% of all revenue;
- Improve the quality of service delivery to all residents and ratepayers by providing safe, clean and potable water, timeous refuse collection, street lighting and proper road networks.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights
No. 98 Baines Avenue, Harare, Zimbabwe
Phone: (+263 8677005347, +263 4 764085/705370/708118
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