Salima District Council chairperson councillor Evason Mpayani has dismissed fears that the raise in councillors’ honoraria will affect the local council’s junior staff’s salaries.
A full council meeting held last Monday resolved to raise the councilors’ honoraria from K80 000 per month to K150 000 per month.
In an interview, Mpayani said the council will put in place effective means of collecting revenue.
“There are many untapped sources of revenue within the council and this arrangement will make all council committees vigilant to maximise revenue collection,” he said.
But a concerned staff member who did not want to be named said the move by councillors was based on greed for more money.
“It is not true that now they will start working hard to generate revenue. We will be the ones to suffer. They will be able to claim their money while we go for months without pay,” said the officer.
Salima Governance Network (Sagnet) executive director Thomas Mwangupili said while the increment is ill timed considering that the council is still collecting below its target.
“My take is that the increment could have come after they had improved in their revenue collection,” he said.
Salima Council has 10 councillors and the adjustment means that its annual wage bill will rise from K53 million to K61.4 million.
In the 2018-19 budget, the council has estimated to collect K182 million from local revenue sources. However, in 2017-18 budget, the council estimated to collect K137 million, but only collected K52.7 million as of February, 2018. n