HARARE City Council closed the submission of applications for the town clerk’s post yesterday, with mayor, Bernard Manyenyeni saying they had received an overwhelming response from prospective candidates.

BY XOLISANI NCUBE

“The total number of application is still to be known since the closing time is today in the evening, but we as council, are overwhelmed with the response. Despite the difficulties, which are well publicised, I am encouraged by the sustained interest in the position,” he said.

The post fell vacant in 2014 after then town clerk, Tendai Mahachi was retired, with council’s two previous attempts to fill the post blocked by central government, which cited procedural irregularities.

Initially, council hired former banker, James Mushore before the decision was reversed by then Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere, who argued that the local authority should have waited for a nod from the Local Government Board.

Council then conducted fresh interviews, where top MDC-T official and former Cabinet minister, Tapiwa Mashakada came up tops, but new Local Government minister July Moyo stopped the appointment, arguing none of the three shortlisted candidates met the grade.

Manyenyeni said although they had begrudgingly agreed to restart the process, they would legally challenge central government for interfering in council matters.
“Devolution, though amplified in the Constitution of Zimbabwe, continues to be alien to the Local Government Board,” he said.

Manyenyeni said they would soon engage a consultant to do the vetting and subsequent shortlisting of the candidates for interviews before the top three are selected and presented to a full council meeting for adoption and eventually seconded to the Local Government Board for final approval and appointment.