City of Harare has finally moved to fill in executive posts that have been held by ‘actors’ over the past two years. The posts being filled include strategic positions such as directors for water, housing and community services, and finance.
A councillor who sits in council’s human resources committee explained to Harare News that councillors have played their part as they were only allowed to be involved in the recruitment of the town clerk and department directors who fall in Grade one and two while the lower grades are filled through internal processes.
“We finished our selection process and sent three recommendations for each post to the Local Government Board and we are expecting the results anytime soon. We are filling three posts namely the director of water, director of housing and community services, and finance director. The lower grades are being filled by the human resources department because they are not critical positions,” explained the councillor who spoke on condition of anonymity for professional reasons.
The councillor added that the post of town clerk which has been contentious after the disputed appointment of former banker James Mushore remains untouched as it is still pending court rulings.
“We learnt a lot after the Mushore debacle, and this time we tried to keep it safe to avoid further clashes with the Minister of Local Government as he now wields much power after the adoption of the Local Government Bill. So we ended up selecting the acting officials and two outsiders for secondment by the ministry, but we would prefer new brooms (outsiders) for each post,” added the councillor.
When contacted for a comment, Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni could not dwell much into the recruitment issue preferring to only say that council has forwarded the names of the successful candidates for consideration by the Local Government Board.
Other lower posts being filled at council also include that of Corporate Communications Manager, Monitoring and Evaluations Manager, and Chamber Secretary. Residents such as Marshall Muwani (36) from Kambuzuma have welcomed the filling in of vacant posts at Town House saying that this will improve the discharge of duties by the local authority.
“The recruitment of substantive employees is welcome as it will bring stability at council. However, we hope that the officials being employed will be given reasonable contracts unlike the ones that entitled executives to extortionist packages,” said Muwani.
Another resident Mitchell Dhliwayo (45) from Hatfield concurred with Muwani saying that council should make sure to employ workers with the relevant skills to improve service delivery which is council’s number one target.
“As residents we expect the recruitment process to be objective for the betterment of our City. In the past we have seen recruitment for key posts at council being politically influenced, but this has been a disaster. So we expect City Fathers to avoid mistakes that have been made in the past,” says Muwani.