BY AMOS BATISAYI
GOKWE Town Council has appointed Alexander Nyandoro as acting town secretary following Local Government minister July Moyo’s directive that the Midlands town should appoint a qualified and substantive town secretary.
In a letter to the town council gleaned by NewsDay, Moyo instructed the local authority to terminate the tenure of Joseph Mandlokuwa, who was the acting town secretary.
“In terms of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15), I hereby direct council to terminate the tenure of the current acting town secretary Joseph Mandlokuwa. I direct council to appoint a knowledgeable substantive head of department who understands public administration and governance as acting town secretary,” read the letter.
“The incumbent should have the capacity and capability to execute the functions ascribed to the office of the town secretary, specifically for proper administration and good governance of the council.
“It is crucial for the local authority to work in the interest of the public especially in such decisions that affect the overall functionality of the organisation while bolstering a healthy working relationship with clients and stakeholders”.
Special full council minutes stated that Nyandoro was the one qualified to act in that position.
“Nyandoro is the only available substantive head of department; he is also appropriately qualified to act as town secretary,” council chairperson Never Gwanzura was quoted stating in the minutes.
During his tenure as acting town secretary, Mandlokuwa is said to have failed to implement the Labour Court ruling that nullified a job regrading exercise which reduced employees earnings.
The council has ignored the court ruling to restore workers to their initial grades.
It is also alleged that Mandlokuwa failed to provide earth-moving equipment to assist with road maintenance when President Emmerson Mnangagwa visited Chief Njelele’s homestead in Gokwe in May. A councillor, who preferred anonymity, told NewsDay that Nyandoro had already started executing his duties as the acting town secretary.
“His vacation leave was cancelled so that he could assume his duties,” the councillor said.
But Nyandoro has been accused of corruption.
At one point, Gokwe residents petitioned Moyo to investigate Nyandoro, who was then chief administrator.
He was accused of forging council documents to purchase a council vehicle.
Nyandoro was suspended in December 2012, and was reinstated under unclear circumstances.
Gokwe Town Council has been operating without a substantive town secretary since February 2020 when town secretary Melania Mandeya was fired from the post.
Follow Amos on Twitter @ABatisayi