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THE High Court has quashed a directive by Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere ordering Gwanda Municipality to re-advertise for the filled chamber secretary’s post.
Hlupho Mhlanga, who was successful in the interviews conducted last year, took Kasukuwere and the local authority to court challenging the Minister’s decision to cancel his appointment.
Mhlanga sought an order interdicting Gwanda Municipality from re-advertising the post.
Justice Martin Makonese ruled in Mhlanga’s favour following an urgent chamber application that he lodged at the Bulawayo High Court citing Gwanda Municipality and Kasukuwere as respondents.
The judge ordered Gwanda Municipality to employ Mhlanga with effect from June 1, 2016.
“It’s ordered that Gwanda Municipality employ the applicant (Mhlanga) with effect from June 1, 2016. The applicant will be employed as the council’s chamber secretary in terms of a contract of employment which the parties will sign on or before June 1, 2016,” ruled Justice Makonese.
Mhlanga was part of three candidates who were shortlisted for the job. The post, which was previously held by Priscilla Nkala, fell vacant when she became the council’s town clerk.
Mhlanga said in a letter through his principal director that Kasukuwere directed Gwanda Municipality to re-advertise the post, but did not give any reason.
He further argued that the Local Government Board (LGB), which is the approval authority, had approved his appointment. “The law doesn’t provide for a back and forth situation where the LGB approves someone’s appointment and then turns around and revokes it. Naturally, there would be reasons but there’s no such provision in the Urban Councils Act,” Mhlanga said.
“Even if the Minister has powers to interfere with the process, he has to do so before the LGB makes its recommendations or before council’s communicates the results of the final interviews. The minister has certain powers in terms of the Urban Councils Act, but they don’t extend to cancelling, willy-nilly, the appointment of someone who would have been preferred by the council and approved by the LGB,” said Mhlanga.
He said Kasukuwere’s directive was unlawful. Mashudu Netsianda Source-chronicle