By Innocent Ruwende
Harare City Council is carrying out a preretirement preparedness plan for its 902 employees who are
aged between 55 and 59 years after noticing that some of its retirees were falling on hard times. In
2014 Harare retired 1 330 employees who were in council service and had reached 60 years most of
whom have been struggling having fallen into destitution with some of them having their properties
auctioned over debts.
The Local Authorities Pension Fund is failing to honour the pension payout of the former employees
because the city is in arrears regarding its statutory obligations to the fund.
According to the recent minutes of the Human Resources and General Purposes Committee minutes
human capital director, Dr Cainos Chingombe, told council that his department was preparing workers
who will be due for retirement for life after council.
“The human capital director reported that he had commenced holding workshops with 902 council
employees aged between 55 and 59 on preretirement preparedness. The employees had been
organised into groups and workshops had commenced on August 2, this year.
“He further reported that facilitators had been invited from Lopdale Consultancy, council’s vocational
training centre, Harare City farms and council’s pension manager. Topics covered included transition
from employment to retirement, sustainable retirement, health management in retirement and estate
and tax planning,” reads the minutes.
Dr Chingombe also reported that employees’ interest in life skills projects had been encouraging and
that some had already identified projects they preferred. He said the employees had been encouraged
to enrol with the city’s vocational training centre in Mbare, which offered skills in brickwork, carpentry,
leatherwork, book binding, fence making and rabbit keeping.
Council noted the successful launch of the five year programme and that it targeted employees who
were due to retire from council service from 2017 to 2021. “Following discussion, the committee
resolved to recommend that council noted that the aim of the programme is to empowered
employees with life and project planning skills for sustainable retirement,” reads the minutes.
In 2014 council collapsed several departments in a new structure that was expected to be effective,
resulting in some directors becoming redundant. The new structure comprises the departments of
Corporate Services, Finance, Health, Department of Human Resources and Public Safety and Works.
Remuneration was consuming more than half of Harare’s revenue until Government directed a pay cut
for all local authorities and parastatal bosses. The city had 45 middle managers and an overall
workforce of 6 348. – The Herald
By Innocent Ruwende