Councillors flex muscles

HARARE - Harare city councillors flexed their muscles over a decision by the local authority’s human resources department to appoint 13 council staffers to Harare quarry mine.

Most councillors felt the decision was ill-timed as the city is still courting an investor to boost production output at the struggling mine.

Councillor Thomas Muzuva queried the appointments arguing they would only work in adverse when the potential investor, a local firm — Zumbani Capital, comes on board.

“It seems we are appointing these people to higher ranks, why are we doing that pachinhu chisipo (poorly performing mine)?

“Remember we also resolved to operate this mine as a separate entity, so where will these people go when a new investor comes in, say with a different model or equipment?” asked Muzuva.

Councillor Sasha Jogi affirmed saying the arrangement would not serve any purpose other than being a burden to the investor.

“If we have an investor why can’t we wait a little bit until we talk to the suitor rather than burdening him with these people?”

Harare City engineering services director, Phillip Pfukwa argued saying council needed to do its business as usual while they wait for the finalisation of the looming joint.

“Finding an investor is an on-going thing, hence there is need for us to run the business as usual. Also, the people we are appointing are lower grades who are long overdue for promotion,” said Pfukwa.

Harare started courting Zumbani last year following a doomed joint venture with The Facts of Botswana which failed to execute the agreed plan within expected time frames.

The metropolitan’s mayor Muchadeyi Masunda recommended that appointments be put on hold.

“I think it is wiser that we hold it for now but once the joint venture has been consummated then those will be the first to be consumed,” said Masunda.

After a series of botched deals, some councillors have developed cold feet on joint ventures and tried hard to lobby council to find the $5 million needed to boost operations over finding a partner.

The most prominent being the Easi Park deal, which the city fathers entered with a South African-based company, Easihold, to manage city parking.

Harare City Council also engaged Consortio International from the United Arab Emirates to build a people’s market, Mupedzanhamo 2, on Shawasha Grounds but nothing has materialised since 2011. - Wendy Muperi

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