GOVERNMENT only endorsed Kwekwe City Council’s 2015 proposed budget after town clerk Emmanuel Musara had agreed to have his salary cut by almost 50% to the current $4 500 a month, NewsDay has learnt.

Before the salary cut, which became effective in June this year, Musara earned $8 000 a month including benefits.

This is contained in a 2015 budget review document for the period ended July 31, which was presented by city treasurer Rejoice Maweni at a special council meeting held at a Gweru lodge on August 26.

Maweni said the 2015 budget was now compliant with the Local Government ministry’s prescribed salary cap.

“The 2015 budget is compliant with the ministry’s rationalisation of salaries. The town clerk’s salary was rationalised to $4 500 effective June,” part of the document reads.

A ministerial directive on the budget ties local authorities to ensure that their salary-to-service delivery ratio stands at 30:70 respectively.

Kwekwe has all along been allocating 70% of its revenue to salaries, while a paltry 30% went to service delivery.

Maweni’s report shows that the city only managed to collect less than half its budgeted revenue since it fell from $18 million to $8 million between January and July owing to a depressed economy and the late approval of the budget.

According to the same report, the council’s salary bill went up by nearly half a million dollars in the six months from the budgeted $4 552 120 to $5 100 495, putting a heavy strain on the budget.

Councillors who attended the meeting said they were yet to receive the council’s salary schedule to verify Maweni’s presentation on the town clerk’s salary.

“It is not yet clear if this position has been implemented in practice, but this is what we got from the meeting. Council has now asked to be favoured with a full salary schedule so that we can see compliance,” a councillor who refused to be named said.

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