BUHERA – Three Buhera Rural District Council accounts staff have been on suspension for the last 10 months on full salary and benefits in violation of the code of conduct for rural district councils.
Residents are outraged by the extravagance which is bleeding the council, one of the poorest local authorities in the country dry.
Council Chief Executive Officer, Dr Emily Chibvongodze asked The Mirror to hold on to the story until she comes back from a workshop in Harare on Friday.
The suspended employees are Joice Mandipaza a finance clerk, Messrs Makundidze an assistant executive and Jonathan Magomama an accountant.
Zimbabwe Rural District Council Workers’ Union assistant General Secretary, Takawira Nhete accused Chibvongodze of victimising the workers in cohorts with Council chairman Ngoni Musakaruka and the head of the human resources department Ishmael Jachi hence the unlawful 10 months suspensions.
“We have a code of conduct which says an organisation can suspend an employee with pay for 30 days and reinstate him or her thereafter. Suspension without pay is only allowed for 14 calendar days. We are aware that Chibvongodze is determined to fire the three and she is looking for a lawyer to help her achieve this even outside the dictates of the law,” said Nhete in an interview with The Mirror.
Council chairman Musakaruka said the story would damage management’s reputation when contacted for comment. He said that the story shows that there is mismanagement at the local authority.
“Won’t that matter tarnish council for mismanagement?” he asked The Mirror reporter during an interview.
Mandipaza, Makundidze and Magomama were suspended in November 2019 over a Pastel Accounting system that collapsed and deleted information from the computers before they submitted daily takings which had accrued over two days. They were charged with incompetence.
There was suspicion that they stole some money but investigations were carried out and they were cleared as no cent was missing. Council still proceeded to suspend them.
What baffles the Union is that the suspensions left out Leticia Munyeza, the head of the finance department who allegeldy authorised her juniors to handover funds every two days instead of daily.
The National Employment Council for Rural District Councils of Zimbabwe (NECZ) instructed Buhera RDC to deal with the case while the workers are at work but this was ignored.
Nhete said Chibvongodze’s behavior showed that she was trying to hide something from the public.
“We believe there is mismanagement at Buhera Rural District Council and we saw letters from the council chairman insisting on lawyers to have at least one employee fired so he or she could be an example to the rest.
“There is massive victimisation of workers. Workers who really deserve to be fired are not even being charged while those who are not liked by managers are taken to hearings for the most frivolous cases,” said Nhete.
He alleged that the situation at Buhera RDC was chaotic. https://masvingomirror.com