Kasukuwere gives Gweru ultimatum

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Zimbabwe's Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Saviour Kasukuwere speaks during the Reuters Africa Investment Summit in Sandton April 16, 2012. Zimbabwe's empowerment minister expects to finalise the transfer of majority stakes in foreign mining companies to local black investors by the end of April. Kasukuwere, a rising star in President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF Party, has been the enforcer-in-chief of a controversial law that requires foreign companies to hand over 51 percent of their holdings in the country to black investors. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
Zimbabwe's Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment Saviour Kasukuwere speaks during the Reuters Africa Investment Summit in Sandton April 16, 2012. Zimbabwe's empowerment minister expects to finalise the transfer of majority stakes in foreign mining companies to local black investors by the end of April. Kasukuwere, a rising star in President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF Party, has been the enforcer-in-chief of a controversial law that requires foreign companies to hand over 51 percent of their holdings in the country to black investors. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko
Saviour Kasukuwere

Local Government minister, Saviour Kasukuwere has ordered Gweru City Council to recruit substantive heads of departments within 10 days, it emerged during a special council meeting yesterday.

By Stephen Chadenga

The municipality only has one substantive director, Edgar Mwedzi (Finance) with all the other departments headed by officials in an acting capacity.

The ministry pointed out that the provincial administrator’s office should be involved in the recruitment of the directors.

But this did not go down well with MDC-T councillors while those from Zanu PF supported the move.

“What we don’t want is interference from the provincial administrator or district administrator in recruiting our staff,” ward 14 councillor, Ernest Guduza said.

“What interest is it to them to receive applications ad shortlist candidates?

“The town clerk as our chief executive should do that job and as councillors we also make recommendations.”

However, ward 2 councillor Tiripai Chipondeni (Zanu PF) said council should just follow the directive since they had previously written to the same ministry complaining that the local authority had no substantive human resources manager.

Town clerk, Daniel Matawu said his office would advertise the posts before engaging a human resources officer from the provincial adminirator’s office to work on modalities on how the applications will be processed.

It was agreed during the meeting that three posts, director of engineering, health and housing would be advertised as a matter of urgency.

The Midlands capital has been under the Local Government ministry’s radar for some time with Kasukuwere’s predecessor Ignatius Chombo setting up a team to investigate council’s operations.

Three councillors were also suspended over two months ago on allegations of abusing their power.

The councillors accused Chombo of deliberately targeting them because they belonged to the rival MDC-T party. Council has been struggling to pay its workers, a situation which it blames on dwindling revenues.