AS both a worker and resident of the city of Harare, I feel it’s time all city employees and ratepayers voiced concern over the misfortune that has befallen our capital city amid platitudes by commissioners concerning its wage bill vis-a-vis its revenue.
If unattended, this issue might bleed the city dry because the commissioners are playing tricks, leading both the government and ratepayers to view the city worker as a cruel, gluttonous burden threatening the city’s survival.
Yet the truth is that the commissioners themselves are a relentless cabal used by politicians to milk Town House of the fruits of labour of the men and women who strive to make Harare the Sunshine City it used to be.
Problems of the wage bill will never end as long as government makes half-hearted efforts in sorting out the mess at Town House.
Government has not been bold enough in forcing whoever is appointed or elected city father to recognise that first and foremost, the ratepayer is king.
The city employee must be taken care of by way of a better salary, allowances and other benefits.
Government must not allow commissioners to do according to their bidding in running the city’s affairs, especially where the workers’ salaries are abused to fund their projects, while they falsely assure government that council has set aside enough funds for salary adjustments and is waiting for union members to come to the negotiating table to seal the deal.
These commissioners are “playing casino” with workers’ money. This is not Las Vegas. They should give the worker his dues.
Since the year 2000, no council has worked for the betterment of the city. I am yet to come across someone who speaks good of any council in the intervening period.
The major preoccupation for the commissioners in this millennium is lining their pockets. When government chooses eminent people to shore up the image of the capital city, these people misinterpret the trust for an opportunity to enrich themselves.
Government must ensure that the commissioners work in line with their job descriptions, or risk bleeding the fiscus by those whose scorn for the city worker is appalling.
Perhaps our commissioners need a little motivation from what former United States president, Abraham Lincoln, once said: “… you cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer, you cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income, you cannot establish security on borrowed money…”
If they cannot interpret these wise words, then the anti-corruption team must visit Town House to interpret the law of the land on corruption.
It is my hope that they think of the workers’ plight with their hearts rather than their heads.