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HARARE mayor Bernard Manyenyeni has dug in his heels, insisting the capital city’s chief administrator, Town Clerk Tendai Mahachi, remains “suspended”.
The mayor has tried to suspend Mahachi before, only to be overruled by former local government minister Ignatius Chombo who was replaced by Saviour Kasukuwere in a cabinet reshuffle Monday.
This time Mahachi was not “suspended” but told to stay at home for a bit.
Manyenyeni told journalists at a press briefing Tuesday that he never suspended the Town Clerk but asked him to go on leave while city fathers dealt with “strategic and operational issues in his absence”.
“As far as I am concerned he (Mahachi) remains on leave,” said the mayor.
“I have not seen him but just hear rumours that he reported for work.
“I quite deliberately did not invoke Section 139 of the Urban Councils Act because the provisions and the matters at hand do not form the basis of the action I communicated to Council.”
He added: “I would remind you that I deliberately did not refer to suspension, the term subsequently employed elsewhere in describing the development.
“We should all accept that this managed leave arrangement does not prejudice the Town Clerk at all and no investigation was proposed or implied.”
Manyenyeni insisted that the city council “must still enjoy its space” in terms of governing the affairs of the city.
“I am aware of the minister’s interest in this development and to deal with this interest I will communicate developments to the minister regularly,” he said, adding he regularly took advice from now former local government minister Chombo.
Manyenyeni said since last year, Council has been managing the exit from service of employees who would have attained the age of 60 years adding Mahachi would have been a candidate for this exercise.
“The reason he was not included is not a matter of special treatment but largely to do with proof of his age which has not been availed to Council since last year, leaving us with the assumption that he was under 60 years of age,” he said.
According to the mayor four months ago, Mahachi indicated that he wanted to take early retirement and gave December 31, 2015 as his preferred date of departure.
However, said after a meeting at which Chombo was upraised of Mahachi’s impending departure with agreement from the Town Clerk, the latter’s employment file “could not be found”. The Town Clerk later indicated he had “the file at his home”.
Since then, according the Manyenyeni, Mahachi has literally been playing hide-and-seek with Council.
“Such behaviour is unacceptable and is not the first time that our Town Clerk has presented a shocking submission,” said the mayor.
“We recall an attempt as recently as 2013 to present his Zimbabwe Dollar payslip to the parliamentary portfolio committee on Local Government as proof of his salary.
“Three months later we still do not have the touted succession roadmap in place. A ministerial decision to have the Local Government Board prescribe a succession plan has since been rejected by council, and rightly so.
“This council has the mandate to deal with all managerial succession issues.”
Manyenyeni listed a litany of misdemeanours and various other issues that the Town Clerk failed to deliver after being given 30 days to work on.
Mahachi has, through his lawyers, demanded due process. source -newzimbabwe
photo-Town Clerk Tendai Mahachi with pro-Zanu PF activitsts recently-Told to stay home by Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni