Gweru suspends two directors

Gweru City Council has suspended two directors from the housing department over poor performance, but the duo has approached the Local Government ministry citing victimisation.

Councillors unanimously recommended the suspension of acting and assistant housing directors Manfred Gambiza and Unity Jaji respectively last week.

They were accused of failing to fulfil their mandate as per their performance contracts.

Sources told The Standard that Gambiza was suspended indefinitely, while Jaji was put on a three-month forced leave.

The fallout between council and the two directors has sucked in the Local Government ministry with acting Gweru district development coordinator (DDC) Tarisai Mudadigwa accusing the local authority of victimising the duo.

This is after the suspended directors approached the DDC’s office citing intimidation after they refused to allocate housing stands to the outgoing councillors.

“It has come to the attention of this office that there are reports of unprocedural demands of privileges and stands by the outgoing councillors of the city of Gweru,” Mudadigwa wrote in a letter dated June 26 addressed to acting town clerk, Livingston Churu.

“The office is well informed that council repossessed 22 residential and commercial stands across the city due to non-development.

“Furthermore this office is well informed that the same councillors have been accommodated in acquiring the stands before as required by the law and that the same councillors are pushing you as the town clerk to suspend staff members especially in the housing department.

“This has resulted in quite a number of staff members taking leave days waiting for council to be dissolved.”

Mudadigwa said council should follow procedures when repossessing and reselling the 22 housing stands and stop victimising its employees.

Contacted for comment on Friday Churu said he was “busy” and preparing for a special council meeting.

Mayor Hamutendi Kombayi “rubbished” Mudadigwa’s letter before accusing the suspended directors of ‘twisting’ facts.

“As councillors we had said the housing department should sell at least 500 stands by the end of the year so that council gets money to buy yellow machines,” he said.

“We then looked into their (housing directors) performance contracts and realised that they had not sold a single stand.

“This obviously prompted us to take disciplinary measures and suspend them.”

Kombayi said the council was not victimising the directors.

“What the DDC is saying in his letter about councillors pushing to be allocated repossessed stands in an unprocedural manner is unfounded and not true.”

-The Standard-

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