Harare City Council councillors are reportedly agitating for more workshops outside the capital so that they receive huge allowances to augment their poor salaries.

The councillors receive fuel allocations, USD cash payments as well as huge amounts of money using the bank rate whenever they are outside Harare on council business.

Harare Residents Trust (HRT) said Harare councillors prefer holding meetings in other towns, especially Victoria Falls, Mutare and Kadoma. It said:

The Council managers receive an average of US$100 per day spent outside Harare on council business.

Informed officials say each Councilor attending a workshop outside Harare receives fuel money calculated using AAA rates from the Council then two or three of them would use one vehicle despite claiming the monies registering their individual vehicles.

At these workshops, which take between 3-7 days, they receive US$10 per day spent at the workshop.

Open Council reported sources as saying councillors are poorly paid and many of them don’t have jobs.

HRT said the City of Harare should not hold workshops in other towns when it has a lot of alternative venues to conduct council business. Said HRT:

Councillors are not full-time in terms of the local government system in Zimbabwe.

A Councillor may be employed elsewhere and simply attend council meetings to make policies, oversee council management and represent residents, mostly through council committees and meetings.

Council officials are usually forced to convene meetings outside Harare in order to increase the money paid out in different forms to officials and councillors.

In December 2021, Harare councillors were criticised for holding a 5-day workshop for the formulation of the Local Environmental Action Plan (LEAP) in Mutare.

The local authority defended itself saying that there were too many distractions for councillors if the event was held in Harare.