BY Garikai Mafirakureva

CHIREDZI town secretary Charles Muchatukwa last week reinstated town engineer Wesley Kauma under unclear circumstances.

Council chairman Gibson Hwende confirmed the reinstatement, but referred all questions to Muchatukwa.

“Yes, I confirm the town engineer has been reinstated, but I cannot give details right now because I was out of town for the whole of last week. I know he is my employee, but his immediate boss is the town secretary. You can talk to him. He has all the details,” Hwende said.

It is suspected that the suspension was just a gimmick to ward off pressure from United Residents and Ratepayers’ Association (Uchirra), who were demanding the engineer be relieved of his duties.

Muchatukwa said he would call back when he was reached for comment. “I am in a meeting right now. May I call you back later?” he said.

However, a source privy to the matter said Kauma was charged with insubordination and was warned and immediately reinstated.

Uchirra was demanding an investigation into the engineer’s qualification, citing wasted grant money, failure to meet grant timelines, incompetence, failure on water and sewerage upgrades, and poor workmanship on roads, abuse of council property – the vehicle which he used for his personal errands during the construction of his many properties around town and poor management of various other council projects.

One of the letters stated that the engineer lied to a Local Government ministry level benchmarking team that 85% of Chiredzi households had running water when the town has a serious water crisis.

Uchirra advocacy officer Bernard Dachi said the suspension was just play acting to cool off pressure from his association. He added that they are going to pursue other avenues to bring the town council to account.

“I already knew this was one of the episodes in the council drama. How could they suspend a senior employee and reinstate him without apprising stakeholders? I knew the whole thing was just play acting, but, as an association, we are going to pursue our agenda until justice is done,” Dachi said.

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