Harare City Council suspends director

HARARE - Harare City Council (HCC) has sent human capital director Cainos Chingombe on forced leave pending an investigation into his alleged involvement in the city’s salary scam.

Chingombe, according to a damning Local Government ministry audit, was among the city’s top council management involved in awarding themselves hefty salaries and performance bonuses.

Other directors involved, acting finance director Tendai Kwenda, director of works Phillip Pfukwa and health director Prosper Chonzi, escaped the chop.

Chonzi will, in the meantime, be acting town clerk after incumbent Josephine Ncube was recently suspended.

Addressing journalists after a human resources committee meeting yesterday, Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni said only two directors, Chingombe and Ncube have so far been axed.

He said if council was to do the same for all managers involved in the salary corruption, council business would be severely disrupted.

“Only those who are signatory to council accounts have been sent on leave. The amendment arises from the need to manage the matter as best as possible to minimise disruption to council business.

“If we had sent a bigger number of our officials on this leave, we would have derailed council services and operations,” Manyenyeni said.

He said he and council chief whips would convene a meeting with Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere to present their position as council.

He said they would also initiate an evaluation on what the findings of the report are to the audit and human resources committees.

“To an extent, the matter of the audit report from the minister could be considered sufficient raw material to minimise further work. This would give us the speed to bring this matter to closure. We are looking at managing the processes between two and three weeks,” he said.

Last week, HCC suspended long-serving chamber secretary and acting town clerk Ncube without pay pending investigations on a similar issue of hefty salaries and allowances awards.

According to a report compiled by the ministry of Local Government, nine executives were overpaid their retrenchment packages by $1,2 million while also receiving unbudgeted bonuses amounting to more than $600 000.

The report also revealed that in the city’s 2015 and 2016 budgets, there was no mention of the salaries and allowances for the executive managers.

It further said 40 executives received education allowances of more than $800 000 as well as holiday leave allowances of more than $300 000.

Furthermore, the report also revealed that $282 000 was transferred into retrenched executive managers’ bank accounts from HCC’s Beer Levy and Estates account outside of employment costs.

HCC has been plagued by rampant corruption involving its senior employees and last year, former town clerk Tendai Mahachi was dismissed from council following a row over hefty salaries and allowances paid to senior executives, including himself who was listed as the top earner.

Comments (1)

This is a job welldone Mayor and your team. I also want to compliment Minister Kasukuwere for being hard on these council criminals especially Cainos Chingombe. Council employees have a salary backlog of 6 months and yet Chingombe and him team were awarding themselves bonuses. For Christ sake, how cruel is that fool? When nurses staged a mini demonstration, they were hauled and suspended by this acting town cleck ideot. He must also face the music as soon as you get the perfect replacement. They abuse women especially nurses. They ask for love for nurses to get salaries. Chingombe is the Chief culprit and Dr Chonzi. Imargine manurse anorapa vanhu anonyimwa mari vanogeza nei? vanodyei, vanoenda nei kubasa? COMMON SENSE SHOULD PREVAIL. Chingombe decided to pay lower grades uptodate to avoid strike by cleners. Is that not a devide and rule old tactic? stupid Chingombe. You shall pay. Even if we meet you in streets uchamama. Ideot. You feed on people's blood. Now God is fighting you.

pasipemuswe - 18 November 2016

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