BY NHAU MANGIRAZI

Karoi Town Council will soon embark on a skills audit to ensure it has the right workforce to manage its affairs.

Council chairperson Abel Matsika confirmed to NewsDay that the skills audit would help the local authority place employees where they are competent to realise better outcomes.

“As part of the skills audit due to be carried early next year, we need to identify our depth of skills from our workforce and place people where they belong so that we get the best out of them,” he said.

“A lot of our officials have upgraded themselves academically and professionally and we hope the newly-acquired skills will effectively help us in our turnaround strategies. We also intend to map the way forward through proper skills training so that we do the best as an institution.”

Karoi Residents Trust (Karest) director Travo Chiwanga, however, called on council to prioritise policy and regulations formulation.

“The skills audit is necessary and welcome as a positive move by our council, that we applaud. However, council must have policies and regulations first that bind those who are promoted or demoted, according to the Labour Act. Council must formulate guidelines in every department so that there is no victimisation of few individuals after the audit,” Chiwanga said.

“These policies will include how residential stands and commercial stands, among others, are kept in a formulated data base. Furthermore, it helps to know council properties, including cars and machinery, and who can drive council cars and when should they occupy a particular house, for what purposes. We need something tangible and binding for workers.”

He added that basic education qualifications were the hallmark of an institution’s development.

“Skills audit will help solve governance issues affecting our council and assist in staff retention drive,” Chiwanga said.

Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs minister Mary Mliswa-Chikoka is on record calling for transparency by both government and public institutions in the province.

Mliswa-Chikoka told NewsDay that skills audits were the benchmarks to improve service delivery by councils.

“As government, we want councils in the province to do skills audits that justify service delivery as citizens have a right to a better environment from service providers including councils, municipalities among others,” she said.

Auditor-General Mildred Chiri exposed some councils that were operating without policies and guidelines.

Chiri cited Karoi Town Council as one of those councils with poor corporate governance.