THE five-member James Kurasha committee running Harare City Council is milking ratepayers of over $50 million a month in payments and allowances.
P>Senior officials at Town House said members of the committee, handpicked by Local Government minister Ignatious Chombo, were being paid $10 million each as salaries plus fuel and cellphone allowances. Committee members have also been exempted from paying rates to council.
“A single committee member’s salary could pay 45 councillors’ allowances for three months,” officials said.
As of August when MDC councillors were forced to resign en masse they were getting a paltry $70 000 each a month.
There are also reports that council spent $300 million repairing the official mayoral Mercedes Benz which acting Harare mayor Sekesai Makwavarara has taken possession of.
It becomes her second official vehicle since Makwavarara seized the reins at Town House last year. The other vehicle is a state-of-the-art Toyota Hilux twincab she acquired less than a year ago.
The revelations come at a time when council has struggled to pay workers over the past three months.
The Kurasha committee is made up of Zanu PF top functionaries, Tony Gara and Tendai Savanhu. Other members are Harare provincial administrator Chahuruva and a Mr Makanda.
Officials said Chombo was in the process of appointing more members to the committee.
The committee is running the affairs of Harare despite Chombo’s claims that there is no such commission.
Chombo transferred authority to run Harare from Movement for Democratic Change councillors to the ruling party through the appointment of a monitoring committee.
Gara is a former mayor of Harare, former deputy Minister of Local Government and 2000 losing candidate for Mbare East.