Saturday, 16 April 2016

MUSHORE APPOINTMENT A NULLITY

The Local Government Board does not recognise Harare City Council’s appointment of former NMB chief executive Mr James Mushore as its new town clerk because the city violated provisions of the Urban Councils Act.

Council also disregarded circulars from the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing on the matter.

The city was supposed to consult the board as required by law and, according to the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing policy, it is mandatory for the incumbent to have at least four (4) years post qualification local government experience in middle or senior management in an administrative position.

In a letter to Harare Mayor Councillor Bernard Manyenyeni, the Local Government Board said it was shocked by a letter written to the board by Clr Manyenyeni notifying them of the appointment, when councils are required to submit names to the board for approval first.

“We herein register our shock, surprise and dismay at the contents of your aforementioned letter. Your letter simply ‘notifies’ the board of your decision to appoint Mr Mushore as town clerk, and yet it violates the procedure to appoint such a person as provided in the Urban Councils Act Chapter (29:15) and, several Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing circulars and policies.

“Section 132(1)-(2) of the Urban Council’s Act Chapter (29:15) is the law responsible for appointing any town clerk of any municipality. It provides when appointing a town clerk that (1) A municipal council shall appoint a person approved by the Local Government Board to be the town clerk of a municipal,” read part of the letter.

The Local Government Board said the executive committee of the municipal council was supposed to submit names of suitable candidates, hence it was evident from law that Harare City Council erred in appointing Mr Mushore without its approval.

“Section 135 of the same act says, (1) the Local Government Board shall interview every person whose name has been submitted to it by a council… and may (a) approve a person recommended by the council concerned; (b) refuse to approve any person recommended by the council concerned.”

“As a board, we are shocked that your office by-passed statutory obligations in such appointments and deliberately violated the law as no candidates were recommended to our board for the final interviews. If these procedures are not followed, it follows that the appointment of such officials was incorrectly carried out,” said the board.

It said Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing circular of the 30th of October 2011 outlined the requirements for candidates vying for post of town clerk.

The circular, among other things, stated that a candidate should have a relevant degree.
The board said it is mandatory for the incumbent to have at least four years post-qualification local government experience in middle or senior management in an administrative position.
The board further argued that the appointment Mr Mushore violated the law, practice and usage of the ministry circulars and policy therefore is illegal.

It therefore does not recognise Mr Mushore’s appointment.
“If your office insists on violating the law, which is clearly provided for the individuals involved, it shall be held liable and accountable both in their official and personal capacities.”
Mushore has been reporting for work since Monday.

Clr Manyenyeni yesterday confirmed receiving the letter but said he could not do anything without council approval.

“I really cannot do much with this paperwork without council authority. My actions are restricted by the council resolution not to dabble in a matter which is before the courts,” he said.
Asked why Mr Mushore was reporting for duty when the matter is still before the courts he said, “Does the court application say he must not report for duty?” herald

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