By Nyasha N Mukapiko
Harare City Council (HCC) is likely to fail meet its 100 days Rapid Results Initiative (RRI) deadline after a successful launch early October last year. The curtain comes down on the struggling HCC on the 20th of January 2017.
Rapid results approach is a results-focused learning process aimed at jump starting major change efforts and enhancing implementation capacity, Rapid Results Initiatives taps into the human desire to succeed by creating real empowerment, motivation and innovation in working towards results.
HCC had prioritised seven key areas as their major targets to have been attained by January this year. The list of set targets include; removal of illegal ranks, reduction of overtime by 50%, increase access to portable water from the current 45% to 55% and increase of refuse collection from the current 60% to 90% among others.
The technical working group on sanitation unearthed anomalies and mismanagement at Town House during a mid-term review workshop held in December last year. The team established that only 23 out of 47 refuse trucks were running, it also emerged that another vehicle had been broken down because of a US$200 worth cable.
HCC has a total of 46 wards. The collection of waste in many suburbs remains a challenge as it is evidently witnessed by huge piles of dumped, uncollected garbage in some residential areas.
Water woes continue to be the order of the day; many residents now rely on borehole water.
Two weeks ago HCC health department reported cases of cholera outbreak in the suburb of Mbare where deaths were recorded; the outbreak is believed to have emanated from borehole water.
During the mid-term review workshop some technical working teams reported that they were facing resource constraints to fully implement the 100 days initiative.
Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni was quick to point out that the issue of salaries was the biggest elephant in the room. Manyenyeni said HCC was collecting US$30million a month with US$9million being channeled towards salaries.
“The elephant in the room is only our human resources cost, we can only have one conversation with government, if the government can give us one directive a year let it be to cut down our wages”, Manyenyeni proposed.
Manyenyeni said US$3m to US$2m can be saved if salaries are cut down. Principal Director in the president’s office Solomon Mhlanga also seconded the proposal saying there was no point of paying a municipal police officer a salary of US$1 200 while a Zimbabwe Republic Police officer earns US$400.
Mhlanga compelled acting Town Clerk Josephine Ncube and Human Resources director Dr Cainos Chingombe to urgently effect measures and cut down salaries.
HCC employees have gone for more than four month without salaries. Late last year mayor Manyenyeni suspended Acting Town Clerk Ncube without a salary after an audit report revealed that top council officials were still getting hefty salaries, however the decision was reversed by Local Government Minister Saviour Kasukuwere.
Harare Residents Trust (HRT) director Precious Shumba said the attention by HCC of trying to do something was commendable though they were going to face problems since it was a new thing.
“The challenge though is that most the intended things that they intend to do will not be fully achieved as long as there is a disconnect between the team managers, senior management, councillors and the shop floor employees who are dissatisfied with no salaries for a long time”, Shumba said.
HCC vision is to achieve a world class city status by year 2025, it is going to remain a nightmare if stringent measures are not put into place to clean the messy at Town House.
By Nyasha N Mukapiko