KWEKWE — Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo has blocked attempts by councillors to award themselves jaw-dropping exit packages.
City fathers here had hoped to walk away with rich pickings for the services rendered to council since they were elected into office in 2008.
But Chombo thwarted the move, saying the funds should instead be channeled towards service delivery.
The majority of the councillors, including outgoing mayor Shadreck Tobaiwa lost in the recently held local government elections. They are therefore counting their losses since they will not be coming back to council.
It had been recommended that Tobaiwa be given a new vehicle, a house, a residential stand, a commercial stand and four months allowances for every year served as part of his exit package.
His deputy was to receive a vehicle, a residential and commercial stand as well as four months allowances for each year served.
The rest of the councillors would have received residential stands, commercial stands and four months allowances for every year served.
The decision by Chombo to shoot down the request for exit packages has not gone down well with the councillors who have vowed to fight on until they have received their dues.
Tobaiwa claimed this week that there was duplicity on the part of the Local Government Ministry’s since councillors in Gweru had been allowed to walk away with exit packages.
Outgoing Gweru mayor, Tedious Chimombe was given a Toyota Prado, a residential stand in the affluent suburb of Athlone, a commercial stand and three months’ salary for every year served.
“Chombo through (Killian) Mupingu (Local Government permanent secretary) wrote to us saying we were not going to get anything as exit packages for the time we were in office but instead said the monies should be directed towards service delivery in the city,” said Tobaiwa.
“We find this baffling because other local authorities like Gweru awarded outgoing councillors exit packages. This on its own shows there is a hidden political agenda because most municipalities where the MDC-T was in charge did not get anything but where there are ZANU-PF councillors they walked away with something.
He added: “We are not going to take this lying down but we are going to pursue the matter so that we get what we feel we duly deserve after our hard work especially if you consider that the Zimbabwe National Chamber of Commerce awarded us an award for being the best run local authority.”