Lovemore Meya Herald Correspondent
The commission appointed by Government to turnaround the fortunes of Chitungwiza Municipality has made shocking revelations that some employees do not have O-Levels, yet it is a prerequisite for employment. In an interview with The Herald, chairperson of the caretaker commission Mr Madzudzo Pawadyira said this was unearthed by an audit they instituted in a bid to bring normalcy at Chitungwiza.

Some workers are reportedly refusing to bring their educational qualifications and Mr Pawadyira said council will not hesitate firing them.

The skills audit started on May 10.

The employees who do not have O-Levels are reportedly close associates of some senior council officials.

Mr Pawadyira said it was disturbing that a local authority like Chitungwiza would fill up posts with people who could hardly read or write.

“We have been conducting a skills audit and there are about 50 people who refused to comply. I cannot imagine a local authority whereby if you want to communicate, the only person to answer you is the head of department,” said Mr Pawadyira.

“Quite a number of people who are working in offices do not have even Ordinary Level certificates while people with such qualifications never had the opportunity to have jobs.”

Mr Pawadyira said the deadline for submissions of educational qualifications by employees was Friday last week.

“Those who are qualified have nothing to worry about while those without papers will either be redeployed or fire themselves.

“Some have refused to participate because they say when they got the job they were never asked for qualifications. Then I have a pool of young people in Chitungwiza with qualifications willing to work and we will be recruiting to fill the posts,” he said.

The issue was also raised during a meeting with the workers unions last week.

“There was a query during our meeting with workers unions saying some of the people who were supposed to give the service to the people were not properly qualified to do the job that they were engaged to do.

“However, it should be noted that we need a workforce that can deliver those services because we cannot run a council with people whose educational qualifications do not meet the requirements of the job,” added Mr Pawadyira.

The audit follows Circular Number 2 of 2017 sent to all employees and heads of departments generated by the town clerk Mr George Makunde on May 10, requesting all employees to submit copies of educational and professional qualifications and proof of age.

“The municipality is in the process of developing a skills inventory and updating of personal records.

“In view of the exercise in question, all employees in Grade 1 to 13 are required without fail to urgently submit certified copies of their educational and professional qualifications regardless of having done it before.”

Meanwhile, the Chitungwiza municipality said it is investigating some of its sewerage works staff accused of demanding kick-backs to rectify problems reported by residents. It is reported that the workers are citing non-payment of salaries when demanding cash up front before attending to the faults.

Mr Pawadyira confirmed receiving such reports.

“We have a problem with our sewerage, where in some instances some of our staff are accused of asking for kickbacks for them to deal with these problems instead of doing it as a matter of their duty,” he said.

“I did ask for further information about the culprits so that we deal with them and on checking with the relevant director, I was told that the allegation was not unfounded since they were instances where some of the staff have been dismissed for asking for kickbacks.

“Currently, we have a new allegation which is being followed up. I want to get the community’s support in this particular way.

“Any service that is given by council should be given above board. Anyone who asks for any form of kickback should be reported immediately.”

Residents said they have been reporting the cases to the municipality with no resolution in sight.

Mrs Juliana Mayowa of St Mary’s said they were fearing an outbreak of diseases since their toilets were always clogged.

“We do not have anywhere to turn to as the toilets and drains are full,” she said.

“I am coming from another house in Dziva Street, where I had gone to take a bath.

“We take our meals facing raw sewage. Reporting to council is now helpless because no one comes to attend to the problems.”

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