Innocent Ruwende Municipal Reporter
Harare town clerk Dr Tendai Mahachi remains suspended although he is reporting for duty amid reports that he offered to leave Town House in December.
This emerged during a Press conference in which Harare Mayor Councillor Bernard Manyenyeni outlined his reasons for sending Dr Mahachi on forced leave.
Last week, Clr Manyenyeni sent Dr Mahachi on an indefinite forced leave for reportedly stalling the city’s succession plan and rationalisation of executive salaries among other issues.
Clr Manyenyeni yesterday said since last year, council had been managing the exit from council service for employees who would have attained 60 years and Dr Mahachi would have been among the candidates for this retirement exercise from last year.
“The reason he was not included is not a matter of special treatment but largely to do with his proof of age which has not been availed to council since last year leaving us with the assumption that he was under 60 years of age.
“Upon my insistence on the age matter, a solution presented itself over four months ago when the town clerk offered for exit proposing December 31, 2015 as his retirement from service of the city.
“A month later, at what was essentially a team-building meeting convened at the ministry (Local Government, Public Works and National Housing) a suggestion by Dr Ignatius Chombo for succession plan was tabled,” he said.
He said Dr Chombo said that the he (the mayor) and Dr Mahachi must first agree on the latter’s date of exit which had already been agreed to.
Mayor Manyenyeni said attempts to get Dr Mahachi’s employment files were futile with him (Dr Mahachi) insisting he had given his file to an unnamed official at the Local Government Board.
“He surprised the meeting attended by deputy mayor (Councillor Thomas Muzuva), Human Resources Committee chairperson (Councillor Wellington Chikombo) and myself last Monday when he told us that he does not know the person he gave the file.
“He had the arrogance to pack his papers and simply said ‘ndaakuenda ini’ before storming out of the meeting.
“Such behaviour is not acceptable and this is not the first time that our town clerk has presented a shocking submission. We recall an attempt as recently as 2013 to present his Zimbabwe dollar pay slip to the parliamentary portfolio committee on Local Government as proof of his salary,” he said.
He said three months later the city rejected a ministerial decision to have the Local Government Board prescribe a succession plan.
Dr Mahachi said among the matters which have been stalled, delayed or deferred are the 2015 council budget approval, publication of audited statements, payroll administration outsourcing project, work plan to deal with illegal settlements, submission of proof of age and employment file and fuel management system for council fleet among others.
“I was requesting that he commits himself to the delivery of the above targets within 30 working days initially as a condition of his return to work.
“The town clerk has a big team of managers at his disposal and the foregoing targets could have been achieved before and should be easily achievable.
“We expect that all the relevant submissions should be made to the responsible committee chairmen for further processing,” he said.
Mayor Manyenyeni said councillors will meet to discuss the way forward if Dr Mahachi continues to report for duty.