Innocent Ruwende Municipal Reporter
Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere has blocked attempts by some councillors at Harare City Council to bring back banker Mr James Mushore to Town House, saying any negotiations should be on his permanent exit.
Minister Kasukuwere said he told Mayor Councillor Bernard Manyenyeni that he was not interested in any discussions to bring back Mr Mushore.
Former NMBZ chief executive Mr Mushore was last year sent on forced leave after signing a two-year contract as Harare town clerk, but continues to earn from home with no solution in sight as his salary bill balloons to over $125 000 minus benefits.
The former banker signed a two-year contract with Harare City Council on April 1 last year before being sent on forced leave after Government rescinded the appointment, saying council flouted procedures of appointing a town clerk as outlined in the Urban Councils Act and the Local Government Board.
A clique led by Clr Manyenyeni has been pushing to bring back Mr Mushore to Town House.
Minister Kasukuwere told The Herald last week: “We have said any negotiations would be on his permanent departure. I have told the mayor I am not interested in talks to do with his return. We will not accept a person who was appointed after flouting of normal procedures.”
Recently while addressing stakeholders at his State of the City address, Clr Manyenyeni showered praises on Mr Mushore.
“Let me reiterate that the position of town clerk of Harare by function and scope is equivalent to the deputy Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet. For Harare the template is for a top professional with global experience and in James Mushore we had secured the right person and this aspect is acknowledged even by those challenging his appointment,” he said.
“Like all of you I yearn for finality — but we cannot speed up court processes regrettably. Pending the appointment of the Town Clerk, Council had resolved to ignore provisions of Section 137 (2) by seeking to have the acting town clerk position being rotated among our senior executives.”
Clr Manyenyeni said Minister Kasukuwere had recently expressed a new desire to buy the past and take the city forward but blamed his ministry for all major problems at Town House.
“The ministry’s intransigence against the new constitution and our choice of the Town Clerk is burdensome.
“There is a constitutional court application challenging sections of the Urban Councils Act which are in consistent with the Supreme Law of the land,” he said.
According to the law council was supposed to submit three candidates to the Local Government Board for approval.