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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Residents up in arms with local authority over poor service delivery

Story by Tafara Chikumira

THE opposition-led Gokwe Town Council is in the eye of a storm for poor service delivery at a time when the local authority bosses have been accused of corruption.

There are also accusations of nepotism after a senior official allegedly influenced the appointment of his wife to a managerial position without following due process.

The Gokwe town council is accused of reinstating Nhlonipho Dube as an administrative officer against a Labour Court judgement, resulting in the local authority having two Administrative Officers.

Information at hand indicates that Dube’s contract was terminated eight years ago, and he received his pension and gratuity, only to be reappointed to the same post.

The town council has also been accused of unprocedurally awarding a licence to a top confectionery company to operate in the town without following the correct procedure.

Another bone of contention is the suspension of the former Acting Town Secretary, Alexander Nyandoro who was initially sent on forced leave and is now suspended over a slew of allegations.

Gokwe Acting Town Secretary, Mr Joconia Nyoni and his team have also been accused of setting up a six-member committee to investigate Nyandoro without following due process.

The team is also facing allegations of milking the cash-strapped council of USD$1500 each, while there are other options to carry out the investigation.

Mr Nyoni, however, says everything was done above board.

“Well, in the case of Nyandoro, the guy had prejudiced the council for long and as such we had to institute some hearings for his shenanigans. We have a team paying USD$1500 each to investigate his doings. Most of our doings are informed by council resolutions, “he said.

Meanwhile, a visit to Gokwe by government officials revealed gullies threatening to destroy Gokwe District Hospital and key infrastructure like major roads.

Midlands Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Honourable Owen Ncube said, “For us to achieve meaningful progress, Gokwe Town Council must fight the elephant in the room, in form of governance issues. Among them, are unethical conduct by both council officials and councillors and partisan decision-making that demoralizes, demotivates and victimizes workers in the process, compromising service delivery. Victimization of employees on political grounds is unacceptable and violates labour laws and principles of fairness and equality.”

Gokwe town council has been operating without a substantive town secretary since Melania Mleya was sacked in 2020 on allegations of abuse of office.

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