Ncube back at Town House

Source: Ncube back at Town House | The Herald November 23, 2016

Elita Chikwati Senior Reporter—
Government has reversed Harare City Council’s decision to suspend Acting Town Clerk Mrs Josephine Ncube on corruption allegations. He said council did not follow the correct procedures in suspending Mrs Ncube. This is the third time Government has had to intervene on behalf of the Acting Town Clerk. Mrs Ncube was sent on forced leave by Harare Mayor Councillor Bernard Manyenyeni on November 4.

Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere yesterday said council “jumped the gun” when it suspended Mrs Ncube. “We carried out a special audit to assess the level of compliance by local authorities. My ministry did not carry out this exercise only in Harare, but in quite a number of local boards to assess the level of compliance.

“The City of Harare has jumped the gun. I, as Minister of Local Government, after the audit, will come to the HCC with the report, present it before all councillors and senior officials. They will go through all pertinent issues raised in the report and will give time to council to consider areas raised and, we will sit together as a ministry to map the way forward in terms of who gets to be suspended, fired and everything else that comes thereafter,” he said.

“The audit report found its way to the City of Harare before this office. This was to do with the Cabinet directive of 2014 where the Government directed all our municipal authorities to rationalise in terms of remuneration packages with the chief executive officers.”

Minister Kasukuwere said the suspension of Mrs Ncube and human capital director Dr Cainos Chingombe disrupted work at Town House. He said he was determined to fight corruption, but things should be done properly.

“This will enable us to improve service delivery, but we do it legally. You do not just wake up in the morning and suspend one person without even having read the report yourself. I am not happy at all.

“The city cannot be run based on romours, based on vendettas against individuals. I appeal to the people in the leadership that whatever we do, we should be guided by reason. We cannot be emotional. We cannot victimise individuals because we have disagreements with them,” he said.

Minister Kasukuwere called on council to fill in all vacant posts within 60 days. This will improve service delivery in terms of road repairs and water supplies. “We cannot have 60 percent of the positions on an acting basis. We will rather have people doing their work on full-time basis to restore order in the city.

“We also want to appeal to the city fathers over unacceptable salary and statutory obligations arrears running into millions of dollars. Workers are not happy. We have to attend to this matter in many local authorities,” he said.

Minister Kasukuwere said the issue of secret salaries should end. He said all executive salaries must be made public for transparency’s sake. “We have given you our benchmarks – about $10 000, and thereafter we come down. Salaries for top management should be known. “When hiring people, they should know the salary scales in which they will earn even when advertising for jobs, make the salary clear,” he said.