HARARE - Following town clerk Tendai Mahachi’s suspension in July, Harare City council has been plunged into a succession quandary with no appointment in sight.
Mahachi who has been accused of misconduct at Town House, was suspended by mayor Bernard Manyenyeni for among other issues, failing to produce salaries of executives.
Since his suspension, chamber secretary Josephine Ncube who also doubles as corporate services and housing director has been in the acting town clerk.
However, in a human resource committee minutes circulated during a full council meeting, council showed signs of confusion as to who is supposed to succeed Mahachi.
The minutes state that councillors Peter Moyo and Wilton Janjazi proposed to have Mahachi’s position rotated among the city’s directors.
“Councillor P. Moyo then proposed, seconded by councillor W. Janjazi that in respect of the position of Grade 1 the Chamber Secretary, the Human Capital and Public Safety director and the director of health Services be allowed to act as town clerk on a rotational basis for three months each with immediate effect, in that order,” read the minutes.
According to the Section 137(2) of the Urban Council’s Act, the Chamber Secretary acts in position of the Town Clerk’s absence.
However, the Chamber Secretary is only filling in a gap created and their appointment to the substantive position is not automatic.
Acting town clerk Josephine Ncube however, said the succession plan policy was about competence models which would be beneficial to everyone.
“She further advised the committee that council would end up recruiting old people if it put an experience requirement to 15 years as suggested for the position of Grade 1, yet it wanted young and dynamic possible successors,” part of the minutes said.
Ncube further advised that experience for the town clerk’s position be left at 10 years, while for Grade 2 directors be seven years.
She said because other grades also need the same attention in terms of a succession plan, action plans would not be implemented at the same as they would be costly.