MYSTERY surrounds the whereabouts of Dr Tendai Mahachi’s contract of employment as town clerk, with Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni yesterday saying no one at Town House has ever had sight of the document. This has raised questions about how council was paying Dr Mahachi in the absence of a contract of employment.
Harare council’s human resources and general purpose committee took a decision at a meeting on Tuesday to terminate Dr Mahachi’s contract on three months’ notice in line with a July 17 Supreme Court ruling on common law contracts of employment. The decision is, however, subject to full council approval. The decision followed Dr Mahachi’s demand for a $3 million golden handshake from council as a pre-condition for him to quit.
In an interview with The Herald yesterday, Clr Manyenyeni said Dr Mahachi’s contract of employment was missing. “The contract is missing. The whole file, I have never seen it. No one knows where it is,” he said. When pressed on whether that was possible, Clr Manyenyeni said: “When I demanded it from him, he said it was at his house and that he was going to bring it.
“He never did. He later changed, saying it was with the Local Government Board, yet if there is one file that has to be in the mayor’s office, it is the town clerk’s.” Clr Manyenyeni said if Dr Mahachi’s contract of employment was not in his office, it should have been at least in other offices at Town House. “It should be somewhere else, either with the chamber secretary or human capital director, but those two do not have it. I do not have it either,” he said.
Clr Manyenyeni said he had written to Dr Mahachi’s lawyers demanding the contract but found no joy. Yesterday Dr Mahachi’s lawyer, Mr Chenjerai Daitai of Magwaliba and Kwirira Legal Practitioners, said he had not received any request from council for Dr Mahachi’s contract of employment as alleged by Clr Manyenyeni.
“We have also not received any communication on the decision to terminate his contract of employment. We are merely reading it in newspapers,” he said. He said they were still waiting for council’s response to their request for mutual termination of employment. Dr Mahachi presented council with 22 demands worth millions of dollars as an exit package, which was met with a termination of employment notice.
The demands include $100 000 for every year served, a mansion in Belvedere and two luxury vehicles. He joined council in 2007. Trouble for Dr Mahachi started when he was sent on forced leave with council accusing him of stalling the city’s succession plan and rationalisation of executive salaries, among other issues.