Forty vie for Bulawayo town clerk post

martin moyo

Bulawayo mayor Martin Moyo

BULAWAYO — Council has received over 40 applications for the vacant position of town clerk, which was advertised last month.
City fathers are hopeful that the country’s second largest city would have a substantive town clerk by the end of next month.
Residents are keenly interested in finding out who will emerge as the top candidate for the job, especially after the controversy surrounding by the recent appointment of James Mushore, a former bank executive, as the town clerk for Harare.
Mushore’s appointment has triggered a political furore, with the ruling ZANU-PF party expressing clear dislike for the ex-banker.
That appointment, made after a rigorous selection process involving independent experts, resulted in the suspension of Harare mayor, Bernard Manyenyeni for defying government’s directive.
Mushore’s appointment has been nullified by Local Government Minister, Saviour Kasukuwere, who also suspended the mayor.
Kasukuwere argues that the appointment violated the Urban Councils Act, but has ignored the fact that it was made in terms of the new Constitution, adopted in 2013.
The Constitution is the supreme law in the country.
Martin Moyo, the Bulawayo mayor, said a number of applications had been received and were now being processed by the general purpose committee, which has oversight on the recruitment.
“We have upwards of 40 applications which we received for the town clerk position. We are still looking at these and we will soon be in the process of short-listing candidates. I cannot say exactly when the entire process will be completed, but by the end of May, we hope to have a replacement,” he said.
The post of town clerk fell vacant in September last year after the death of Middleton Nyoni.
Sikhangele Zhou, the chamber secretary, has been the acting town clerk since Nyoni’s death.
The general purpose committee is composed of eight persons and Moyo chairs it.
After selecting the top three candidates, the committee could forward these to the Local Government Board, which later appoints the town clerk from the list, with the Minister’s blessings. However, in terms of the new Constitution, council might decide to proceed with the appointment of the winning candidate, but court the ire of Kasukuwerere who still insists on the application of the Urban Councils Act.
The responsibilities of the town clerk include oversight of six units.
These are public relations, city economic development, audit, work study, human resources and training.
The new town clerk would have to spearhead the city’s development; the city is currently experiencing dwindling financial resources in the wake of de-industrialisation, which has  diminished residents’ ability to pay their bills.
In addition, council is owed millions of dollars by ratepayers who are failing to meet their obligations to the local authority.

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