Harare mayor suspends town clerk

The Harare City Council (HCC) town clerk, Tendai Mahachi, has been sent on forced leave over alleged poor governance.

Tendai Mahachi
Tendai Mahachi

Mahachi is reported to be frustrating efforts to review downwards the salaries of overpaid executives and will be under investigation during the indefinite leave.

This was disclosed by non-executive mayor, Bernard Manyenyeni, during a full council meeting yesterday and he insisted that Mahachi was not being victimised.

"There will never be anything personal, I have a professional relationship and will maintain it. There are issues to be handled including the succession plan and that can be handled without him,” he said.

"I have given the town clerk the letter now and the letter will be delivered to the ministry (of local government). It's just by coincidence that I made the announcement at the full council meeting as it coincided with the end of the month where I was meant to announce the decision," added the mayor.

"Those are some of the issues including executive salaries and we want to make it clear that he (Mahachi) is the biggest beneficiary and is therefore an interested part. Let us allow processes without him.

"The leave, as we speak, is indefinite, no hard feelings. This is not a suspension, but we want to move forward," said Manyenyeni.

However, Mahachi expressed surprise at the suspension, insisting it was illegal.

"I don't even know what's happening. I think in there, he made two statements; one of them is on a succession plan in my absence," he said.

"This is the first of its kind in Zimbabwe. I don't think you will find anywhere this will happen again. Legally, it doesn't make sense, there is no council resolution, he just took it from the hat when he mentioned it,that is why he said you are on leave," he said.

"The organisation has been working on a succession plan. As a matter of fact, he wrote that to the minister requesting for input and the minister took it to the Local Government Board that is dealing with the issue. This is very unusual. When you see the cited reasons, for me, it's unbelievable. Also you can ask councillors, I think they were also taken by surprise. We will look into the matter and see," said Mahachi.

Human resources committee chairman Wellington Chikombo also said he was not involved in the matter.

"I don't know what's happening, we are still to get confirmation, but the mayor said he sent him on leave, that is his decision," Chombo said. "It is the mayor who sent him on leave."

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