Council director ‘fakes’ age to defer retirement

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BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
FORMER Harare City Council (HCC) workers want authorities to investigate suspended council’s human capital director Cainos Chingombe on allegations of misrepresenting his date of birth to postpone his retirement from the local authority.

The council’s retirement age is 60.

Although documents show that Chingombe was born on November 10, 1961, some interviews that he conducted with the State media to launch his book show that Chingombe was born in 1956.

According to a report in the State media published on September 13, 2021, Chingombe was born in 1956.

In another State media report on October 16, 2021, Chingombe claims to have dropped out of school while in Grade 5, in 1967.

Going by the report, Chingombe is 65 years, five years more than the retirement age of 60 in 2016. It is alleged that Chingombe gave 1961 as his date of birth.

Contacted for comment, Chingombe insisted that he was born in 1961, but refused to explain why he had indicated he was born in 1956 during interviews with the State media.

He also did not discredit the interviews.

“I was born in 1961 and my birth certificate, my identity card, my Grade Seven certificate, all prove that,” Chingombe said.

“I do not want to comment on the said interview with the State media.”

In 2014, there was a mass retirement of employees at the HCC who had reached the age of 60. This was after the local authority reduced the retirement age from 65 to 60.

Some of the 2 300 retirees challenged the retirement at the courts.

In 2017, the retirees wrote to then mayor Bernard Manyenyeni asking him to launch inquiries into why Chingombe had not yet been retired when he had reached the age of 60.

In the letter dated November 27, 2017, the retirees claimed that Chingombe was the “architect” of the policy, which reduced the retirement age from 65 to 60.

“As former City of Harare employees who were affected by the introduction of this new policy, we are deeply depressed by your council’s apparent unfair application of the policy you adopted in January 2014 in that, the human capital (director) who created the current policy  has been allowed to continue in council employment despite him being over the age of 60. This has been brought to your attention and no action has been
taken.”

The retirees also claimed there were numerous employees other than Chingombe who had reached retirement age, but were still employed by the local authority.

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