CHITUNGWIZA TOWN CLERK SACKED | Chitungwiza town clerk Dr George Makunde has been fired after the caretaker commission running the affairs of the municipality opted not to renew his contract, The Herald has learnt.
It has since emerged that Dr Makunde’s contract expired on August 19 this year. The beleaguered town clerk, who has been on suspension since September 12, is defiant, insisting that he is still in charge of the municipality.
Dr Makunde joined the local authority as town clerk in August 2012 when he took over from Mr Godfrey Tanyanyiwa, who was fired by the municipality and subsequently jailed in September 2013. The caretaker commission has since decided to forgo the town clerk’s scheduled hearing because of the latest development.
Chairperson of the commission Mr Madzudzo Pawadyira yesterday confirmed that Chitungwiza had parted ways with Dr Makunde.“Yes, (Dr) Makunde’s contract had expired and this means we could not renew it,” said Mr Pawadyira.
Documents seen by The Herald, which were prepared by the commission’s chairperson on October 5, indicated that the commission was displeased with Dr Makunde’s “disingenuous conduct” of not bothering to inform them that his contract had expired.
“It has come to my attention that you were on a five-year fixed-term contract which commenced on August 20, 2012 and expired on August 19, 2017. It appears to me that you were the only official who knew of the fact of the expiry of your contract and you withheld such information from the caretaker council. You took advantage of the fact that you were the custodian of the contract and the fact that the council which knew the status of your contract is currently suspended.
Therefore, your contract, having expired on August 19, 2017 and it not having been renewed, means that you ceased to be a council employee on that date,” said Mr Pawadyira.
Mr Pawadyira said the fact that Dr Makunde continued to purport to execute council business after the expiry of his tenure indicated deceit.
“You concealed that fact from the responsible authority. You were obviously on a frolic of your own. In light of the above mentioned expiration of your contract, I now write to advise you that it shall no longer be necessary to proceed with the disciplinary proceedings, which were scheduled for Monday, October 9. In my capacity, therefore, as the chairperson of the
caretaker commission to whom the responsible Minister has assigned the administration of the council in the absence of an elected council, (I) now kindly ask you to hand over all council properties in your possession to the acting town clerk within 48 hours of receipt of this order,” he said.
But Dr Makunde told The Herald that he was still at work. “I am still at work; yes, I do confirm that the commission wrote a letter to me advising the same, but I do not know whoever is advising them.
There is the Labour Act which stipulates who renews the contract, the employer or the employee. Mine was renewed already because I am the one who signed the current budget, which is only approved after the approval of my performance contract which will end in December,” said Dr Makunde.
Dr Makunde’s stay at the struggling local authority has been dogged by a series of events that saw residents demonstrating against alleged poor management.