Thursday, July 19, 2018

Political interference stalls approval of Harare’s shortlisted town clerk candidates

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HARARE City Council on Tuesday failed to hold a key meeting to approve the three shortlisted candidates for the town clerk’s post after some councillors snubbed the event due to political differences.
BY XOLISANI NCUBE
Acting town clerk Hosiah Chisango reportedly emerged the top contender among the 11 interviewed candidates.
Acting mayor Enock Mupamawonde had called the emergency council meeting to endorse the list, but was let down by other councillors, who boycotted the gathering for political reasons.
“I have been advised that we can’t form a quorum, hence we cannot go on with our meeting. I appreciate those who came and your time. You will be advised when the next meeting will be held,” Mupamawonde told the few councillors who had turned up for the indaba.
Council requires at least 17 councillors to form a quorum, but less than 10 were present, although some of them had attended another meeting in the same chambers 30 minutes earlier.
Even the human resources committee chairperson, Wellington Chikombo, who was supposed to move the adoption of the motion to approve the list, did not attend the meeting.
Insiders said although a number of councillors were backing the shortlisted candidates, some were angry over being left out from the panel of interviewers, which was made up of selected members of the human resources committee and other chairpersons.
“Some councillors are unhappy that they were left out from the interviewing panel and they just want to register their discontentment with the process and show mayor (Bernard) Manyenyeni that he should have engaged them, not that they are against anyone shortlisted,” a Town House source said.
Procedurally, after the interviewing panel has shortlisted three candidates, council has to adopt the names and recommend that the Local Government Board (LGB) approves the appointment of the leading candidate or any one of the three for the post.
Harare has gone for over 30 months without a substantive town clerk following Tendai Mahachi’s ouster, with previous efforts to fill the post blocked by the LGB, which cited procedural breaches.