HARARE – Residents have expressed outrage over Harare City Council (HCC)’s move to appoint employees currently under corruption probes as substantive directors.
The local authority confirmed Hosea Chisango (responsible for water), Tendai Kwenda (finance) and Edmore Nhekairo (housing) as directors this week.
Their appointments come after Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere ordered the city to fill in the vacant positions that were being held on an acting basis.
However, Combined Harare Residents Association (Chra) chief executive Mfundo Mlilo said it was disturbing that some of the candidates were still under investigation for fraud.
He said the appointment of directors under investigation, such as Kwenda, should be treated with caution.
“Individuals who have been fingered in corrupt activities should not be entitled to hold public office and must be disqualified from the selection process, until they are cleared by a commission of enquiry,” he said.
“As Chra, we believe that the city of Harare needs transparent, competent and innovative people with fresh ideas on how to turn around the fortunes of the local authority,” Mlilo said.
Kwenda was implicated in the 2016 audit report which revealed gross mismanagement and fraud at HCC.
It revealed that nine executives were overpaid their retrenchment packages by $1,2 million while also receiving unbudgeted bonuses amounting to more than $600 000.
An additional 40 executives also received education allowances of more than $800 000 as well as holiday leave allowances in excess of $300 000.
The report highlighted that $282 000 was transferred into retrenched executive managers’ bank accounts from HCC’s Beer Levy and Estates account outside of employment costs by then finance controller Kwenda.
The audit’s results also indicated that Kwenda was paid an extra $20 765 in his 2014 salary.