Chitungwiza town clerk Godfrey Tanyanyiwa has been sent on forced leave pending investigations into allegations of misappropriating council funds meant for employees’ salaries.
The employees, who are owed their November and December salaries, are currently on strike.
The town council resolved to suspend Tanyanyiwa on Wednesday this week.
Councillor for Ward 17, Jacob Rukweza, said Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo, recently summoned the council to his office after learning the workers had not been paid for two months and seemed exasperated by Tanyanyiwa.
“During the meeting, the minister was furious and he told the town clerk to shape up or ship out because he had failed to take full control of council affairs. When we went back to council (after the meeting), a resolution was made to send the town clerk on forced leave to pave way for investigations,” he said.
Council employees went on strike just before the Christmas holiday demanding payment of their outstanding salaries.
“We are on a sit-in and so far no one has addressed us. After we downed tools, we were told we would get our salaries on December 28, but up to now we have not received anything,” said a council employee who declined to be named.
Mayor Philemon Chipiyo yesterday confirmed Tanyanyiwa was on forced leave. He said they wanted to establish what happened to the money raked in during a council promotion in which ratepayers who settled half their outstanding bills had their balances slashed off.
“It’s surprising that workers have not been paid after we raked in money through the promotion. The November and December salaries are outstanding. So where did that money go? If he (Tanyanyiwa) is innocent, he will come back to work,” he said.
Efforts to contact Tanyanyiwa were fruitless as his mobile phone was switched off.