I WILL QUIT POLITICS :MASHAKADA | Hatfield legislator and economic advisor to MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai, Dr Tapiwa Mashakada, is prepared to dump his constituency and politics to land the coveted position of Harare town clerk, it has emerged. Dr Mashakada was recently short-listed for the post of town clerk of the City of Harare after scoring 1 534 points in interviews.
Also short-listed for the job was Dr Cainos Chingombe and current Gweru town clerk Mrs Elizabeth Gwatipedza, who scored 1 394 points and 1 228 points, respectively. The three are part of eight people interviewed recently, out of over 60 who were vying for the post. According to sources who were part of the interviewing panel for the town clerk’s position, Dr Mashakada, who is a former Minister of Economic Planning and Investment, told interviewers that he was ready to relinquish his seat in Parliament. The country’s Constitution does not allow politicians to become administrators of local authorities.
“We were surprised that Dr Mashakada was prepared to relinquish his two posts and also quit politics in order to be appointed town clerk.
“He must have sensed the opposition party’s inevitable defeat in the 2018 elections and he moved to secure his future,” said the source. Harare Mayor Clr Bernard Manyenyeni, who was also part of the panel, confirmed that Dr Mashakada had indeed told interviewers that he was prepared to call time on his political career.
“It’s in writing, I can confirm that. It is, however, surprising that some town clerks were active members of political parties and they did not relinquish their posts. If you carry out a survey, you will find this to be true,” he said.
Local Government, Rural Development and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere last week effectively disqualified Dr Mashakada’s candidacy. He indicated that it was against both the Constitution and “common sense” for a career politician to take the administrative post. Without referring to Dr Mashakada by name, Minister Kasukuwere said politicians that aspired for the top job had to first resign from their political parties and relinquish their parliamentary seats. The minister was speaking while addressing delegates at a joint meeting of provincial and district administrators, chief executives, town clerks and secretaries in Harare.
“The Constitution says you cannot hire politicians to become administrators of local authorities,” said Minister Kasukuwere. The position of Harare town clerk fell vacant following the retirement of Dr Tendai Mahachi and the termination of former banker Mr James Mushore’s contract after Government rescinded his appointment.