Cash strapped Harare City Council is allegedly paying ghost workers in the form of dead and fired employees while the money is being pocketed by selected top bosses.
Preliminary investigations showed that councillor Norman Makondo who died in February 2021 is among those appearing on council payroll.
The council last year had 500 people drawing salaries for over a year despite not doing any work after being seconded by the opposition councillors.
Around 400 were deployed to the municipal police department while the remainder were posted to the department of water and other divisions.
The ghost workers are recruited each election period as a way of enticing and rewarding them for campaigning for the opposition party councillors.
Among those alleged to be behind the scam of paying ghost workers are Harare City Council acting human capital department manager Mr Bosman Matengarufu.
Mr Matengarufu disowned a list making the rounds on social media in which the late councillor is alleged to be appearing on last month’s payroll.
“The file that we sent to the bank this October was password protected and had no HM numbers,” he said.
“I believe that list did not come from the salaries section, because my salaries section used the October 2022 wage bill list which did not have HM numbers.”
“My preliminary investigation points that list to Covid list that was requested in 2020 at the peak of Covid when the Ministry of Health wanted to pay our health staff.”
A well-placed source within the council said Mr Matengarufu is behind the scheme.
“There are officers in Harare City Council human resources department led by Mr Matengarufu who are collecting money from fired, retrenched and dead workers. Shockingly enough the name of councillor Norman Makondo is still appearing on the payroll despite him having passed away a few years ago,” said the source.