HARARE City Council has resolved to conditionally lift the suspension of 25 officials implicated in shady land deals arguing that their continued absence from work had adversely affected service delivery.

BY RICHARD MUPONDE

The officials, who include human capital director and former director of housing, Matthew Marara, town clerk Hosiah Chisango and director of housing and community services Admore Nhekairo, were arrested a few weeks ago over their alleged involvement in land scandals prejudicing council of over US$1 million in revenue.

Nhekairo is now back at work after his suspension was lifted in September.

According to minutes of the local authority’s general purpose committee meeting held on October 13, a resolution was made that suspended employees report for duty under the “strict” supervision of investigating authorities.

“Council notes the update on the cases of twenty-five (25) employees from its various departments who have been placed on suspension and or have pending investigation/disciplinary hearings over alleged illegal sale or improper allocation of council land,” read part of the resolutions.

“Council notes that the employees referred to in paragraph 5(1) of the confidential report (October 12, 2020) by the acting human capital director are currently on bail whose conditions prohibit them from interfering with investigations and witnesses but do not prohibit them from reporting for duty.”

The committee also noted that the placement of the workers on suspension or leave had adversely affected the normal operations of council business.

“That council notes that the employees whose bail conditions are flexible, without any strict condition may be allowed to report for duty under very strict conditions and supervision of the investigation authorities after assessment of the bail conditions vis a vis the employee working conditions by the acting human capital director in consultation with the acting chamber secretary (head public safety) and audit manager,” it was resolved. A number of councillors are in court facing charges of corruption after parcelling out land, sometimes working in cahoots with council workers.

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