Two Harare town clerks, an acting one and the substantive one who has been on suspension, are now reporting at Town House, giving Harare City Council some potential headaches.
The Herald understands that acting town clerk Engineer Zvenyika Chawatama and the substantive town clerk Engineer Hosiah Chisango are allegedly both at work.
Eng Chawatama last week attended a town clerk’s forum in Bulawayo while Eng Chisango was also reportedly conducting his official duties at town house after his suspension was lifted by acting mayor Councillor Luckson Mukunguma.
In an interview on Tuesday, acting town clerk Eng Chawatama confirmed that Eng Chisango was back at the office, but himself insisted that he was still running the show.
“Yes l am acting,” he said. “Eng Chisango and Mr Bozman Matengarufu are at work. Myself l am in Bulawayo on council business,” he said.
Eng Chisango was arrested in September and subsequently suspended over allegations of being involved in the illegal creation and allocation of stands on an open space in Kuwadzana 3 in July last year without going through the legal process of changing land use.
Mr Matengarufu has been on suspension over alleged abuse of office where he irregularly granted a loan to a new employee identified as Moffat Ndlovu, in inexplicable circumstances.
However, Eng Chisango while admitting having been at council premises said he had not been carrying out any official duties.
“I did not chair any meeting. I just passed by at the institution. When l am back it would be officially communicated,” he said.
The Herald is however, in possession of a letter referenced expiry of paid leave dated December 17, 2020 in which acting mayor councillor Luckson Mukunguma clandestinely reinstated Eng Chisango.
“Following the expiry of 30 working days paid leave imposed on you by my office on December 11, 2020 in a letter dated October30, 2020 and effective on November 2, 2020 pleased be advised of the expiry of the leave.
“Meanwhile, due to the exigence of work and the demands of the office of the town clerk, you are hereby notified to proceed with your work in your capacity as the town clerk,” reads part of the letter.
His reinstatement comes at time the Government has condemned the move by Harare City Council to reinstate senior and middle managers with pending corruption court cases, saying such moves are tantamount to undermining the courts.
Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo said there was no guarantee that those reinstated will not interfere with evidence or with witnesses since they were among their subordinates.
Shortly before Eng Chisango’s arrest he seem to have developed bad blood with Eng Chawatama whom he had suspended over disciplinary offences. Eng Chawatama was reinstated a few days later during Eng Chisango”s absence.
According to the Urban Council’s Act, where a town clerk has been suspended his suspension, unless earlier lifted, shall terminate when the council has decided not to discharge him or after six months has elapsed, whichever occurs the sooner.
During the period of his suspension he shall not be entitled to his salary or wages in respect of that period but he may be paid such allowance, not exceeding the amount of his salary or wages, as the council may fix.
The act said if he is not subsequently discharged, he shall be entitled to the full amount of his salary or wages and any allowances that would otherwise have been paid to him in respect of the period of his suspension, less any allowance paid to him.