THE CITY of Mutare is now hunting for a new town clerk to replace Obert Muzawazi who resigned after the publication of a damning government audit report which unearthed corruption and gross mismanagement within the local authority.
BY CLAYTON MASEKESA
Mutare Mayor, Tendai Nhemarare confirmed that the council was hunting for a new town clerk and the post has since been extensively advertised in the local Press.
“The town clerk is the accounting officer and chief advisor of council and is expected to provide strategic direction to council,” Nhemarare said
“The incumbent will help the council to determine City of Mutare’s values, mission, vision and short to long term goals. The town clerk will help the council to monitor and evaluate City of Mutare’s relevance to the community, its effectiveness and results.”
The incoming town clerk will come in at a time morale among workers was at its lowest as they have gone for more than 18 months without salaries.
Over 60 nurses at municipal clinics were currently on strike over non-payment of outstanding salaries, a development that was crippling health service delivery in the city amid reports that hundreds of patients including pregnant women and those on Anti-Retroviral Drugs (ARVs) had become stranded.
The government-commissioned audit report confirmed that the city was operating in contravention of the Urban Councils Act, Public Management Act, and various government policies and rules and procedures.
Mutare City Council was in serious financial crisis as it owes various creditors $19 million while it was also owed $13 million.
Several political figures in Mutare have been angling for the ouster of Muzawazi, with the Minister of State for Manicaland Affairs Mandiitawepi Chimene and Chikanga/Dangamvura Member of Parliament, Esau Mupfumi organising separate demonstrations calling for his ouster. The audit report revealed massive underhand dealings by Muzawazi’s management team that included irregular sale of stands in a development that could have cost the city millions of dollars.
Muzawazi became the first casualty of the audit report which was done after workers had gone for 14 months without pay. The report among other issues detailed how the top management awarded themselves hefty allowances despite the council operating unsustainably.
Engineer Donald Nyatoti is currently the acting town clerk.