Gwanda council hit by new scandal

Gwanda Mayor Knowledge Ndlovu

THE Zanu PF-led Gwanda Town Council are alleged to be in the process of trying to bulldoze the appointment of chamber secretary Priscilla Nkala into the position of town clerk despite her failing to make the grade in interviews conducted last month.


According to confidential council documents gleaned by Southern Eye yesterday, Nkala failed to make it onto the list of three meant to be forwarded to the Local Government Board (LGB) for approval.

In a staffing and general purposes committee meeting on May 20 attended by mayor Knowledge Ndlovu, Zanu PF councillors Dumisani Siziba, Wilson Dube, Thulani Moyo, Albert Ndlovu and Johane Ncube, outgoing town clerk Gilbert Mlilo and human resources officer Baile Moyo, it was agreed that Nkala’s name be squeezed onto the list.

According to minutes of the meeting, the human resources officer stated that the interview panel had selected Thuso Maphala as the best candidate for the job with Levis Maphosa and Lot Mpande coming second and third respectively. The interview panel comprised Bulawayo provincial administrator Khonzani Ncube (chairperson), Bulawayo town clerk Middleton Nyoni, Insiza district administrator Sithandile Ncube and Plumtree town secretary Davis Luthe.

“The town clerk (Mlilo) felt there was a need to include candidate number four (Nkala) as she is an existing employee,” the minutes read.

However, responding to the suggestions, the human resources manager Moyo indicated that the LGB needed three names, but the councillors concurred with Mlilo that Nkala be considered despite her coming fourth in the interviews.

It was further raised in the meeting that Nkala acted as town clerk in the absence of Mlilo. Nkala sat in the town clerk’s seat in yesterday’s full council meeting while Mlilo, who retires tomorrow, sat in the far corner.

The seating arrangement was seen as Nkala’s initiation.

“His worship the mayor also felt that there was need for council to be gender sensitive and inquired if there was a document from the LGB indicating the required number of candidates to which Mlilo said there was none,” the minutes of the meeting read.

Mlilo said it was the norm that council would forward minutes of the interview and the LGB would shortlist the top three candidates.

He also said he would phone Matabeleland South provincial administrator Midard Khumalo, who observed the interviews, regarding the issue of the minutes from the interview panel.

“Thereafter, it was recommended that candidate number four (Nkala) should be among the shortlisted candidates to be forwarded to the LGB for the post of town clerk,” the minutes indicate. Last week, Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo dispatched a probe team to Gwanda following reports that council operations were opaque.