via Harare mayor’s decision on Mahachi commendable – NewsDay Zimbabwe July 2, 2015
THE bold decision by Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni to take the bull by the horns and send town clerk Tendai Mahachi on forced leave to expedite investigations into the executives’ salary saga should be commended as it seeks to instil a spirit of accountability at Town House.
We, however, pray that this time around Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo will not throw the proverbial ninth life to Mahachi and reverse Manyenyeni’s decision as has happened in the past. We also pray that Manyenyeni doesn’t personalise issues but stand guided by the council’s governance charter in dealing with the Mahachi issue.
It’s no secret that Mahachi had become an untouchable element at Town House as he seemed to enjoy unfettered protection from Chombo. Several attempts by previous councils, mayors and even Parliament to whip him into line or at least make him accountable collapsed at either his desk or Chombo’s.
As Manyenyeni rightly pointed out when he announced the suspension on Tuesday, Mahachi had become the major stumbling block to most council resolutions.
All efforts to turn Harare into the sunshine city that it is supposed to be, failed as Mahachi seemed reluctant to take orders from city fathers, preferring to receive guidance from Chombo’s office. Most resolutions aimed at plugging off council’s revenue leaks – notably the executives’ hefty salaries — went unheeded as he religiously declined to implement them.
Given this background, there was no way Manyenyeni’s council could have effectively dealt with Mahachi’s alleged transgressions with him lingering in the corridors of Town House. Mahachi has often clashed with opposition MDC-T councillors over his alleged propensity to taking instructions from the Zanu government instead of implementing resolutions made by MDC-T city fathers who form the majority in council.
“There are issues to be handled including the succession plan and that can be handled without him,” Manyenyeni said.
The mayor explained that he had given the town clerk the letter at the full council meeting and the letter was to be delivered to the ministry (Local Government).
“It’s just by coincidence that I made the announcement at the full council meeting as it coincided with the end of the month where I was meant to announce the decision.”
Those are some of the issues including executive salaries and should be made clear that he (Mahachi) is the biggest beneficiary and is therefore an interested party.
Council should move fast to right the system while Mahachi is on leave. There must not be any hard feelings, but the interests of the people should be put forward first.
We believe that Harare hasa the potential, but politics is stiffling progress in the capital. Service delivery is weak and Zanu PF factional politics is prioritised. It’s a sad development.
As expected, Mahachi threatened to take up the matter “somewhere”, saying the move was “illegal” and “unheard of”.
He is justified as much as Manyenyeni’s actions are also warranted. This should not be viewed as personal, but an effort to restore sanity at the capital city’s administration centre.