Revenue inflows into Chegutu Municipality coffers have drastically fallen, with council receiving a fifth of what it normally collects in a month.
This is one of the negative effects of the Covid 19 lockdown, which has seen people being restricted to their homes as part of security measures to contain the spread of the killer epidemic.
“We do understand that people have no income and that everyone is struggling, and that is reflected on the revenue we collect,” said Town Clerk Alex Mandigo.
“The majority of our residents survive on a hand-to-mouth basis, and this shutdown, necessary though it is, has had an adverse effect on our coffers.
“We are however, encouraging residents to pay their dues to council using electronic systems since it is not possible for them to come into council offices I person. But we do admit it is a challenge,” he said.
Mandigo dismissed as “ill-informed” allegations that senior management had awarded themselves increments, by as much as 600 percent.
“All council employees were awarded a salary increment, which was effective January, but the increases were not uniform across the board as they were grade-based.
“It is not possible for senior management to award itself any increments as we are employees and are not employers. Our employer is the one who awarded the increments,” he said.
Mandigo strongly denied that council staff were from this month going to see their salaries cut by 50 percent.
“Council is going through a difficult period financially, but so is everyone. There is no truth in the allegations that Chegutu Municipal council workers will starting this April receive their salaries cut by 50% owing to the negative impact of COVID-19 on the economy.”
Mandigo said council was doing the best it could under very trying conditions.
However, human resources manager George Kasamu was alleged Thursday to have been busy taking down notices posted on employee notice boards that salaries were to be cut by 50 percent effective this month.
Kasamu dismissed the akegations when contacted for comment.
He said: “This is simply mischief on the part of your source because nothing like that ever happened. Who is said to have written that memo in the first place?”
One council worker who requested anonymity said they were unhappy with how the Covid-19 allowances were being paid.
“We have been put in classes yet everyone is highly exposed. We have been grouped in four classes, with the allowances varying per grade,” the worker said.
The first group is reportedly getting $1500 and comprises of environmental health technicians, nurses and firefighters.
Second group is receiving $1200. In this group there are refuse collectors, sewer plumbers and speakers.
The group is made up of street cleaners, electricians , water plant and water meter readers.
General employees are in class four and are getting $500.