Nyemudzai Kakore Herald Correspondent
Harare Water director Engineer Christopher Zvobgo, has been sent on forced leave with immediate effect to pave way for investigations following rampant illegal water connections to the city’s main line.
Eng Zvobgo’s forced leave follows a directive from Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere that he be suspended.
Harare Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni yesterday confirmed receiving the letter and said Eng Zvobgo would be away until mid-January while a report of the investigation was being finalised.
“I can confirm that we received the minister’s communication over that matter, which is already in the public domain. As council, we are considering the contents of the letter,” he said.
“Eng Zvobgo is now on leave pending examination of the matter which exercise is nearly finalised so we expect some position on the matter when council resumes business in 2016.”
This is not the first time Eng Zvobgo has been in trouble.
The city dismissed him in 2001 after the Local Government Board approved his firing on allegations of mismanagement.
This resulted in long-running labour dispute in the Labour Court and High Court in which Eng Zvobgo won and was reinstated.
Minister Kasukuwere during a fact- finding tour of some areas where houses were demolished and several co-operatives dotted around Harare recently, said there was need for a shake-up at Harare City Council to restore order in the city, adding that Eng Zvobgo should be in the know of what was going on with regard to water supplies to these areas.
Council then received an official communication from the minister that Eng Zvobgo be suspended as he was the authority behind the connection of illegal housing co-operatives to Harare water.
The minister’s order comes a few weeks after councillors and council officials were fingered in shoddy dealings that involve the siphoning of $200 000 from Harare Municipality Medical Aid Society and the illegal setting up of housing co-operatives and illegal structures.