Mayor, LGB clash over town clerk
Nyemudzai Kakore Herald Correspondent
LATEST efforts by Harare City Council to recruit a new town clerk have hit another snag following clashes between the Mayor, Clr Bernard Manyenyeni, and the Local Government Board (LGB) over the board’s intention to interview candidates who were not shortlisted for the post. Harare had trimmed down successful applicants to nine, of whom three were shortlisted for the position of Harare City Council town clerk.
MDC-T legislator Dr Tapuwa Mashakada, who is also economic advisor to MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai, scored 1 534 points in interviews. Also shortlisted for the job is council’s human capital director Dr Cainos Chingombe and current Gweru Town Clerk Mrs Elizabeth Gwatipedza, who scored 1 394 points and 1 228 points, respectively.
Cllr Manyenyeni confirmed the development yesterday. He said the LGB should cite the section that affords them the right to interview candidates who failed to make it to the last three. “The Urban Councils Act Section 135 does not provide for the LGB to ask for more names than those we submit.
“The very existence of the LGB in our mandate contravenes the devolution provisions of the Constitution of Zimbabwe,” he said. “The succession route has taken over 36 months so far and there is no solution in sight. The long battle to colonise the mini-government called Harare City Council has been much bigger than the pressing need to have a competent town clerk to serve our residents.”
Cllr Manyeyeni said he was losing confidence in the LGB operations and questioned if the board was even properly constituted. “It has also become necessary to unpack the composition of the LGB itself. There is a real possibility that LGB may not be compliant with its own provisions,” he said.
Efforts to get a comment from the LGB was fruitless.
Before the LGB had made the above requests, Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere had disqualified one of the shortlisted candidates, Dr Mashakada.
Minister Kasukuwere indicated that it was against both the Constitution and “common sense” for a career politician to take the administrative post.
Without referring to Dr Mashakada by name, Minister Kasukuwere said politicians aspiring for the top job had to first resign from their political parties and relinquish their parliamentary seats.
Dr Mashakada said he was ready to relinquish his post as a career politician for the town clerk job.
Government, last year rescinded the appointment of former banker Mr James Mushore as the town clerk, saying council had failed to follow procedures outlined in the Urban Councils Act.