Byo Town Clerk new contract proposal draws ire

Some Bulawayo councillors and residents have criticised the proposed new conditions of service for Town Clerk Christopher Dube who is seeking an extension of his employment contract.

Dube, a former town clerk at the Victoria Falls town council, was appointed Bulawayo Town Clerk in 2016, replacing Middleton Nyoni, who died in 2015.

His current employment contract expires on 30 September 2020 and he is seeking an extension.

According to a confidential council report seen by CITE, the General Purposes Committee in a July 29 meeting “resolved to recommend to council” that under his new conditions of service, Dube be offered, “a commercial stand, specifically Stand No. 14661 (2, 4407 hectares) in Selbourne Park.”

The piece of land, according to the report, “is adjacent to the stand (Stand No. 14662) he was offered in the conditions of service in the initial contract of employment.”

The General Purposes Committee is chaired by the Mayor Councillor Solomon Mguni.

The committee also proposed “that he be offered to buy a vehicle, he will purchase at 25% of the Net Book Value at the end of his contract or at termination through mutual agreement or termination for any other reason, before it naturally comes to an end.”

“However, because of the prevailing adverse economic conditions which may make it difficult for Council to buy another vehicle for him, he proposed that he be offered one of the BWSSIP Project vehicles, an Isuzu Double Cab Truck at 25% of the Net Book Value, considering that the BWSSIP Project will have been completed by end of 2021.”

The other proposal is that in case of any dispute with Council, “engagement, followed by mutual agreement to separate be given first preference or precedence over any other process that Council may wish to apply.”

However, members of the committee queried why Dube could not approach the local authority to buy the land like any other resident without including it in his negotiated conditions of service.

The matter was tabled for consideration at a council meeting and was later deferred for decision at a later date.

It was then resubmitted for consideration at a council meeting held on September 1 as it was deemed to be urgent as “a renewed or roll over contract has to be completed, signed and sent to the Local Government Board during the course of this month.”

CITE understands that the proposal was acceded to and now awaits government approval.

However, some councillors who spoke on condition of anonymity told this publication that the decision will reflect badly on the local authority which has been in the spotlight for shady land deals.

“The decision is not the best considering that residents have been up in arms with council for some controversial land deals and for us councillors we will be seen as endorsing decisions that seem to be promoting corruption,” said one councillor who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Another councillor said they feared being targeted if they had opposed the proposal.

Bulawayo Progressive Residents Association (BPRA) coordinator Emmanuel Ndlovu described the move as scandalous.

“This is scandalous. Currently we have water problems, Housing waiting list is ballooning and instead of them working on servicing residents, they are busy looting. The mayor can’t be relied upon to bring sanity because he is also defending his loot,” he said.

“We shall be seeking to understand the value of the land in question. There is certainly collusion between private and public interests.”

Ndlovu added: “Just like in the case of the mayor’s land, the process might have satisfied all internal requirements (which is the excuse that they will probably give) it’s still wrong and falls far short. BCC has degenerated into an elite based, self-serving institution.

In July 2019, the Town Clerk was suspended by the then Acting Mayor, former councillor Tinashe Kambarami on charges of mismanagement and corruption. 

Dube’s suspension was later lifted by Mayor Solomon Mguni arguing it was unprocedural.

The Town Clerk then approached the Bulawayo High court blocking his suspension, which declared the suspension as null and void.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button