Harare town clerk row turns nasty

Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni
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HARARE – The Local Government Board (LGB) has refused to release the names of its members as the fight to appoint a Harare town clerk explodes.

Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni has demanded to know who constitutes the LGB, but the board has refused to provide the information, instead directing his enquiries to the new Local Government minister July Moyo.

Harare has not had a town clerk since 2015 after the former incumbent Tendai Mahachi resigned amid withering pressure from residents and councillors.

“The LGB acknowledges receipt of your letter requesting the composition and credentials of the LGB members. The LGB is appointed by the honourable minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing and as such the letter should be addressed to the minister who is the appointing authority,” read the letter from the LGB chairperson one S M Ngwenya.

Manyenyeni told the Daily News that the new Constitution has no provision for a LGB.

He said that the LGB is just another ministerial tool used to secure the appointment of politically acceptable executives in council.

“It seeks to perpetuate its illegal existence by being opaque and shadowy. Which organisation in this day and age prides itself in its own non-disclosure,” Manyenyeni said.

Efforts to seek comment from minister Moyo on the composition of the LGB were futile as he was not answering his mobile.

Last year, council appointed former banker James Mushore to the town clerk position but he was suspended by former Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere who argued his appointment flouted laid down procedures.

Following his suspension, Mushore approached the Labour Court seeking recourse, but the matter is yet to be determined.

If Mushore wins the Labour Court case, Harare City Council will be compelled to pay him over $200 000 in backdated salaries.

In the most recent search for the city’s town clerk,  three candidates namely Tapiwa Mashakada, Cainos Chingombe and Elizabeth Gwatipedza were shortlisted in the city interviews.

Mashakada is the sitting MDC Member of Parliament for Hatfield, Chingombe is Harare City Council’s human capital director while Gwatipenga is town clerk of Gweru.