BY SILAS NKALA
THERE is an outcry in Matabeleland North’s Nkayi district following allegations that its acting chief executive officer Lawrence Mudimba has been appointed the substantive council boss via the back door.
Councillors reportedly recommended the appointment of Mudimba despite him ranking second in interviews after Silibele Mpofu who was also eyeing the post.
Villagers are planning to petition the Local Government ministry to reverse his appointment.
The post was left vacant after Zimbabwe Ndlovu was fired under unclear circumstances.
Ndlovu challenged his dismissal at the courts, which ruled in his favour, but the ministry has refused to reinstate him to his position allegedly on political grounds.
Latest minutes of the Nkayi Council human resources committee revealed that interviews for the vacant CEO post were held on March 3 with seven shortlisted candidates.
Mpofu came first with 229 points against Mudimba’s 200 while other candidates scored less than 200.
The committee, however, settled for Mudimba, sparking outrage from villagers and other stakeholders amid claims of underhand dealings and bribery.
In a virtual meeting to debate the issue, Nkayi villagers blasted the councillors for preferring a CEO from outside the district ahead of a local person.
Mudimba is reportedly from Binga while Mpofu is from Nkayi.
“We have power to take a legal route, but first it has to start with us engaging council,” Bioz Makhalima said.
Mqondisi Ndebele said villagers must unite to reverse the appointment.
“We must unite and petition the minister of Local Government, council and local legislators to contest this illegality,” Ndebele said.
Bornman Khumalo said: “They fired the former CEO who was from Nkayi without cause… What is this?
“We will challenge this. How can they appoint number two ahead of number one, what is the purpose of an interview then?”
Nkayi Community Parliament speaker, Nhlanhla Ncube said the developments were disturbing.
“This is worrying that local councillors have been bought with 2kgs of sugar just to sell out Nkayi, it’s a shame,” Ncube said.
Council minutes show that the interview panel comprised of Bubi CEO, Patson Mlilo who was the chairperson, Hwange CEO, Phindile Ncube, Hwange district development coordinator Simon Muleya, deputy director in the ministry of Public Works Local Government in Matabeleland North Province Gloria Rawundi and Wenstone Mundonzvo, the human resources officer in the ministry of Local Government and Public Works in Matabeleland North.
The report states that some Nkayi councillors, Jameson Joshua Mnethwa (council chairperson) Elvis Nkomo, Lot Fuzwayo and Alson Ndlovu observed the interviews.