By Innocent Ruwende
Harare City Council is this week set to conduct interviews for the coveted position of town clerk after failing to meet last Wednesday’s deadline.
The city had said by last week it would have appointed a substantive town clerk with council authorising the Human Resources and General Purposes Committee to proceed with interviewing the 11 shortlisted candidates.
However, it emerged that council was still to agree on the composition of the interviewing panel.
Sources at Town House yesterday said the interviews would now proceed with a panel now in place.
“According to the agreement the interviewing panel will have five councillors from the Human Resources and General Purposes Committee, two degreed chairpersons from other council committees, a representative from the Combined Harare Residents Association and another from the Water Alliance to represent residents,” said the source.
At a recent full council meeting, Human Resources and General Purposes Committee chairperson, Councillor Wellington Chikombo said the position needed to be filled urgently saying the interviewing panel was waiting for councils’ nod to proceed.
He said thereafter, his committee will choose the best candidate from the shortlisted persons and recommend the appointment to a full council meeting for adoption.
Clr Chikombo said as a matter of procedure, the list will be sent to the Local Government Board for ratification.
“It is something that is maddening to the current acting town clerk just to act without understanding what is going to take place. He needs to be fully told what is going to happen.”
The post fell vacant in 2014 following the retirement of Dr Tendai Mahachi, with council’s two previous attempts to fill the post proving to be inconclusive as Government and the Local Government Board blocked the attempts citing procedural and other irregularities.
In 2016, council appointed former banker Mr James Mushore to the post of town clerk, but just a few hours after council announced his appointment, Government rescinded the decision because the local authority flouted procedures of appointment as laid out in the Urban Councils Act.
Council then conducted fresh interviews, where top MDC-T official and former Cabinet minister Dr Tapiwa Mashakada came up tops, but the Local Government Board did not approve of the three shortlisted candidates.