Gweru City Council has dismissed three of its senior officials whom they allege were corruptly employed by former chamber secretary Richard Masinire.
Human resources manager Peter Pedzisa, administrative officer Slyvia Moto and another senior official, Ernest Njaravani, were served with letters of termination of employment last week following a full council resolution.
Council sitting in chambers approved the dismissal of the three after investigations into allegations of corruption and favoratism in the conduct of Masinire proved he had shown favour in employing the three.
“The town clerk (Daniel Matawu) stated that the chamber secretary was found guilty of charges, among others, that during the recruitment process to fill the positions of human resources manager and administrative officers had shown favour to Pedzisa, Moto and Njaravani . . . while showing disfavour to other candidates,” reads part of the full council minutes.
Masinire, then chamber secretary, set questions before presiding over the interviews as chairperson of the panel.
A dossier into allegations of corruption prepared by the local authority against him shows that Masinire made numerous phone calls from his office to the three before and after advertising the posts.
One call Masinire made to Pedzisa after the interviews, allegedly lasted 167 minutes. The calls raised suspicion among councillors, prompting an investigation.
“The acts of misconduct which the chamber secretary was convicted of amount to fraud. It follows, therefore, that the contracts of employment between council and the three were entered into fraudulently and at law the effect of that is that the contracts are null and void. The remedy would be to ask them to stop reporting for duty as they were never council employees,” said the council lawyers.
Mayor Tedious Chimombe confirmed that the three were no longer council employees and the three posts were now vacant.
“We have since dismissed them from council employ,” Chimombe said. “In fact, we never had any contracts with them because what they had were fraudulent ones,” said Chimombe.