HARARE City Council human capital director Dr Cainos Chingombe on Wednesday made a surprise comeback at Town House, a move city officials have since blocked.
The Government has since barred council officials with pending criminal court cases from returning to work until finalisation, and the City of Harare said its former human capital director is no exception.
On November 8, 2021, Dr Chingombe through his lawyers, Lovemore Madhuku Legal Practitioners wrote to the council advising it of a Labour Court judgment that had reinstated him.
“Please find attached a judgment of the Labour Court handed down on November 5, 2021 as LC/H/200/21.
“In terms of the aforesaid judgment, Dr Chingombe remains in his position as human capital director and is reporting for duty with immediate effect,” reads the letter addressed to the city’s town clerk office.
In response on the same day, acting town clerk, Engineer Phakamile Mabhena Moyo said Dr Chingombe could only return once the matter had been discussed.
“Please be advised that the judgment shall be referred to council as per procedure and your client shall be notified in due course.
“May your client kindly bear with council processes and procedures,” he said.
On November 15, 2021, Eng Moyo also wrote another letter to Dr Chingombe placing him on paid leave pending finalisation of his criminal case.
“The above letter refers particularly to the letter dated March 19, 2021 in which I placed you on paid leave.
“Please be advised that pending the finalisation of your criminal case, you remain on paid leave as per the said letter. I reiterate that you shall therefore stop reporting for duty. Kindly comply,” he said.
A source within the council who declined to be named, however, said after the letter by Eng Moyo, Dr Chingombe allegedly went to his office even though his case had not been fully discussed.
“All the top bosses including town clerk Eng Hosiah Chisango, chamber secretary, directors of finance, housing, works all are on suspension.
“Dr Chingombe should just follow suit and first finalise his criminal cases,” said the source.
Dr Chingombe yesterday said the council was issued with a clear labour Court order and was simply supposed to comply with it.
“For the council to try to create a scene where there is no scene I think it is very unprofessional. I am not bulldozing back into my office, I am a legitimate human capital director of city of Harare.
“The facts are that on March 29, 2021 council terminated my contract of employment. I approached the Labour Court on September 24, 2021 the case was heard and judgment was handed down on Novembvre5, 2021 which was in my favour,” he said.
Dr Chingombe said the MDC councillors were coming from a labour party and should respect labour outcomes.