Gweru residents question town clerks’ package

WOMEN Coalition of Zimbabwe (WCoZ) Midlands Chapter has rallied a thousand residents in Gweru to demand an explanation from the city’s mayor Josiah Makombe on why the local authority decided to give former town clerk Daniel Matau a $400 000 golden handshake at a time when the city was struggling to provide services to ratepayers.

BY BRENNA MATENDERE

Gweru mayor Josiah Makombe

The coalition submitted a petition with the signatures of 1 000 residents.

WCoZ, led by Midlands Chapter chairperson Alice Maqata, demanded to know how the cash-strapped local authority would finance the package.

“We, the undersigned Women Coalition of Zimbabwe, together with the people whose signatures are appended in support of the cause, hereby present a petition, noting the following… NewsDay of October 15 states that Gweru City Council has extended a $400 000 golden handshake to former town clerk Daniel Matau,” part of the petition read.

The women expressed concern over how the council, which is owed over $58 million by residents and is struggling to settle its own debts, would raise the $400 000.

“GCC is on record saying it is owed $58 million by residents. We have it on good record that GCC owes ZESA $28 million… In the spirit of transparency and accountability, we demand to know how GCC intends to finance the golden-handshake,” the coalition said.

Terms of Matau’s severance package indicated in a deed of settlement entered into between council and Matau’s legal team from Chitere and Chidawanyika Legal Practitioners showed that the former town clerk would also get a residential stand, a commercial stand and his Jeep Cherokee official vehicle, among other benefits.

Makombe confirmed that he had received the petition and said he was still studying it.

“I am yet to read the petition in full. This Friday, I have an engagement and will be out of office. So, perhaps, I will be able to give a comprehensive comment on Monday,” he said.