Harare City Council has missed the deadline it had set for recruitment of a town clerk, with the human resources committee blaming the mayor, Bernard Manyenyeni, for the delay.

Council, three weeks ago, indicated that it would have recruited a town clerk by last week as it races against time to hire the top municipal employer before the end of their term of office.

Council’s human resources and general purposes committee chairperson, Wellington Chikombo yesterday said the process had been stalled because the paperwork was stuck in Manyenyeni’s office.

“Any day from now we expect to conduct interviews for the town clerk. The issue is that the matter was in the office of the mayor,” Chikombo said.

During the full council meeting held early this month, the local authority approved a programme to fast track the recruitment exercise and had targeted last week as the deadline for the completion process.

“With the indulgence of this council, I want to ask Your Worship (acting mayor Herbert Gomba) that this council gave us a mandate to do the interviews as early as next week and by Wednesday (last week) we should have appointed a town clerk,” Chikombo said.

He added that the interviewing panel was waiting for councils’ nod to proceed and thereafter it would choose the best candidate from the shortlisted persons and recommend the appointment to a full council meeting for adoption.

However, Manyenyeni last week said the committee was yet to select the interviewing panel.

“The human resources committee will now constitute the interviewing panel,” Manyenyeni said last Friday.

Council was forced to re-advertise for the coveted post after the Local Government Board (LGB) rejected its three shortlisted candidates who included MDC-T MP, Tapiwa Mashakada, suspended human capital director Cainos Chingombe and Gweru town clerk Elizabeth Gwatipedza.

In 2016, council had appointed banker James Mushore to the post, but government rescinded the decision, claiming because the local authority had flouted procedures of appointment as laid out in the Urban Councils’ Act.

Since then, successive efforts to fill the position have been unsuccessful, with council clashing with the board and angry councillors accusing it of politicking and unprofessionalism on its latest decision.

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