City council to decide on town clerk, directors’ fate
A disciplinary committee set up by Harare City Council to try city executives facing allegations of financial abuse is set to recommend the action the city should take after the four boycotted the proceedings.
In letters informing the directors of the hearing, Mayor Councillor Bernard Manyenyeni said proceedings would continue even in the absence of the directors.
The directors are doubting the sincerity of the city fathers after they included deputy mayor Enock Mupamawonde and councillor Girisoti Mandere in the committee as these were part of the meeting that dismissed them.
The directors allege that it is tantamount to Clr Manyenyeni becoming the law enforcer and judge after appointing the tribunal and disciplinary committee.
“The way the process is being carried out shows a bias. When Mayor Manyenyeni recused himself in the proceedings that led to our suspension, it was his deputy (Deputy Mayor Mupamawonde) who chaired the meeting. He is also part of the disciplinary committee so is Clr Mandere who raised the motion and convicted us in full council hence the outcome is clear,” said a director.
They accused Clr Manyenyeni of rewarding his lieutenants since they will get paid for their part.
Clr Manyenyeni has, however, denied the allegations saying he had the mandate to constitute the disciplinary committee.
“I was given names, which I accepted and appointed. There is nothing personal. If the resolution said mayor, it currently means Clr Ben Manyenyeni.”
Clr Manyenyeni yesterday said he was awaiting the report from the disciplinary committee.
“I am yet to receive a report from the disciplinary committee,” he said.
The city of Harare suspended acting town clerk Mrs Josephine Ncube and the three directors — Dr Prosper Chonzi (health services director), Mr Tendai Kwenda (finance director) and Cainos Chingombe (human capital) — last month on allegations of financial abuse following a report by a tribunal set up in February to investigate council salaries.
The letters written to the directors read, “You are entitled to be present at the hearing and to be represented by a representative of your choice. You are entitled to call witnesses in your defence. You must make the necessary arrangements with your witnesses. If you fail to appear before the disciplinary authority at the place and time specified above, the hearing will proceed in your absence to possible detriment of your interests.”
The directors last week went to court arguing that their suspension was unlawful to the extent that it was without pay and benefits contrary to the provisions of Section 140 of the Urban Councils Act.