US$80 for councillors is a mockery, they deserve better says Karimatsenga-Nyamupinga

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US$80 for councillors is a mockery, they deserve better says Karimatsenga-Nyamupinga
US$80 for councillors is a mockery, they deserve better says Karimatsenga-Nyamupinga

US$80 for councillors is a mockery, they deserve better says Karimatsenga-Nyamupinga

Goromonzi West legislator Biatah Karimatsenga-Nyamupinga says the recently reviewed allowances for councillors is nothing short of a mockery.

The government recently reviewed the allowances for councillors pegging it to an average of US$80 per month.

Honourable Karimatsenga-Nyamupinga was adding her support to the motion on conditions of service to improve the plight of councillors, which was moved by Honourable Farai Jere.

She said the government must address the fundamental needs of councillors so that they can in turn focus on development issues.

‘’Let us address the fundamental needs to allow the councillors to focus on the critical development issues. You cannot talk about clothes to a starving person.

‘’ The Government recently reviewed their remuneration but when you look at it, and when you look at the figures, it is nothing to talk about. It is actually a mockery, giving a councillor an amount that is below USD80 equivalent, given the magnitude of the work that they do.

‘’The current sitting allowance which I think is actually a transport allowance as it is calculated according to the distances that these councillors travel, it is also a mockery considering the important work they do and also the distances that they cover.

‘Councillors are also given loans to buy motor-bikes. Why give them loans for a motor-bike to carry out council work? In some cases, the loan deductions would leave some councillors with nothing. The question is, why is it a loan when it is for council work? I understand in some councils, there is a residential stand for which they pay 40%, but that is not happening across all councils,’’ she said.

Honourable Karimatsenga-Nyamupinga added that councillors are the unsung heroes of development in Zimbabwe who are open every day driving million-dollar projects and caring for the well-being of communities when they themselves need so much help to sustain themselves.

Meanwhile, Honourable Karimatsenga-Nyamupinga has proposed that councillors should be given offices plus data for their communication needs.

She said councillors work from their houses, and they wake up to people at their house with issues ranging frrom food, school fees and health challenges.

The legislator said their salaries and allowances should be competitive regionally and that they should be given import certificates for vehicles.

‘’They need council offices. The issue of data is very essential Mr. Speaker Sir as councillors use their phones more than anyone else. 24/7 they will be communicating with their wards. Government should provide data for councillors so that they discharge their duties diligently.

‘’Mr. Speaker Sir, I recommend that the Ministry of Local Government and Public Works improves the welfare of our councillors. Let us review their salaries to be competitive regionally, their sitting allowances, assist them to procure vehicles or maybe provide them with certificates to import what they can afford, or allocate council transport and access to descent housing, medical aid and funeral policy.

‘’Sometimes, it is a sorry sight Mr. Speaker, when the councillors die in the ward; if the Member of Parliament does not stand up to the occasion, it will be something else.

‘’They need to lead by example and demonstrate what a decent life is during and after service through a decent pension scheme. If we are serious about development and empowerment to an upper middle-income society by 2030, we need to pay attention to the fundamental structures; the local authority structure that will enable us to deliver the results,’’ she said.

US$80 for councillors is a mockery, they deserve better says Karimatsenga-Nyamupinga