Harare City Council has sacked its finance director Mr Justin Mandizha, barely eight months into his contract.
Mr Mandizha has been fired mainly for his failure to steer the city out of debt and reduce ballooning salary arrears, which now stand at six months. The Human Resources Committee met on Tuesday evening and decided to cut short Mr Mandizha’s performance-based contract.
The decision is expected to be confirmed at a full council meeting. Mr Mandizha’s appointment was a subject of scrutiny during his short stint at council amid allegations that he was roped into city’s structures by his uncle, suspended councillor, Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni.
He also had his probation extended to six months after failing to meet set targets.
However, councillors who attended the meeting said there was a consensus that Mr Mandizha had failed to meet his set targets.
“He failed to improve revenue collection and he also failed to collect money from places like Mbare Musika which just needs a pre-cast wall to control farmers and get revenue. When he joined council we were three months behind in the payment of salaries, but the figure has doubled,” said one councillor.
He said Mr Mandizha was expected to get a letter terminating his contract soon.
At a recent full council meeting, most councillors blamed Mr Mandizha for worsening the city’s salary arrears.
Human Resources and General Purposes Committee chairperson, Clr Wellington Chikombo, could not be reached for comment yesterday, but last week he said council was disgusted by the failure to pay salaries, saying deserving action would be taken.
“Deserving action will be meted against undeserving individuals; City of Harare is not a safe haven for inept, amateurish and un-proficient people,” he said.
Meanwhile, the Harare Municipal Workers Union has said the $275 000 set aside for salaries daily by the city is “just a drop in a sea full of fish that need food”.
Harare Municipal Workers Union executive chairman Mr Cosmas Bungu said while the union welcomes the city’s efforts, they are not enough to address the dire situation the workers face.
“Of the $15 to $16 million council collects every month excluding collections from council business, the ideal situation that shows seriousness on the part of the employer would have seen the employer setting aside over $600 000,” he said. herald