HARARE City Council claims that it has paid out over $50 000 to private human resources consultants hired to interview prospective candidates for the town clerk’s post.

BY XOLISANI NCUBE

Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni said some of the money was used to flight advertisements for the position, which has remained vacant for the past three years, as council and the Local Government ministry continue to haggle over the matter.

“Yes, we used a lot of money for this process. To advertise, get consultants, who do the selection process, as well as administrative issues,” he said.

The government last week ordered council to restart the process after the three shortlisted candidates were disqualified in unclear circumstances.

The move has irked residents who claimed that the process had been politicised.

Harare Residents’ Trust (HRT) co-ordinator, Precious Shumba said although the town clerk position was strategic, it was being abused.

“As an organisation, our long held view is that the political leader in the MDC-T and their councillors in the human resources and general purposes committee should not interfere too much in the whole process of recruiting the next town clerk. This is informed by detailed updates we have received from council management and some councillors that there is intense partisan and criminal lobbying for certain people to occupy the position of town clerk for Harare,” he said.

“This is criminal abuse of office, it amounts to corruption and undermines the whole recruitment process. This is the reason the HRT demands that the recruitment process be depoliticised to allow for the recruitment of the best positioned candidate.”

Combined Harare Residents’ Association chairperson, Simbarashe Moyo accused the government of stifling the process for “selfish political reasons”.

“There has been unbridled and unrestrained interference by the central government in the appointment of the town clerk for the past five years. The matter of the appointment of the town clerk is now a political minefield pitting Zanu PF against the MDC and this has resulted in the city having a permanent acting town clerk and unnecessary expenditure by the city in all the aborted attempts to recruit a substantive one,” he said.