HARARE CITY council has officially retired its town clerk Tendai Mahachi after he reached the retirement age of 65 this year, NewsDay can reveal.
BY MOSES MATENGA
Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni yesterday confirmed the latest development, saying, he communicated the matter to Mahachi through his lawyers who acknowledged receipt of the communication.
There has been confusion on the issue of Mahachi since his suspension in July this year until last week on November 15, when he turned 65, the official retirement age.
“He turned 65 this month, so he is retiring. I have communicated that we are retiring him since he has reached the retirement age,” Manyenyeni said.
The mayor said council had mandated him to deal with the Mahachi issue two months ago.
“We have been communicating through his lawyers and they have acknowledged receipt. That matter is straightforward, if a person reaches retirement age, that is that and there is nothing we can do about that since he [Mahachi] turned 65,” Manyenyeni said.
“Retirement age is something foreseeable and you cannot run away from it, so practically we are retiring him.”
Mahachi was suspended in July by Manyenyeni. He then demanded close to $3 million as his exit package, but his demand was rejected by the council.
The city, however, is reported to have settled for $500 000, an amount which was later whittled down to
$100 000 by the government.
Last year a storm brewed in council when it emerged Mahachi was accused of forgery, allegedly doctoring his age to escape retirement.
Documents seen by NewsDay showed that Mahachi was born on November 15, 1956, but a copy of his passport indicated he was born on November 15, 1950, and, therefore, turned 65 last week.
Concerns have been raised by council officials over the mayor’s slow pace in acting on the Mahachi issue until last week’s decision to retire him.
Mahachi’s stay at Town House was mired in controversy, with many saying he was a political pawn, serving other people’s interests outside council.
Last year, Mahachi was suspended by Manyenyeni before the then Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo reversed the decision hours later.
Mahachi and his lawyers were not immediately available for comment yesterday.