Patrick Chitumba, Midlands Bureau Chief
MDC Alliance-run Gweru City Council (GCC) has been rocked by a nepotism scandal with allegations that councillors are arm-twisting management to hire “their people” as contract workers at the local authority.
Sources within council said each councillor from the city’s 18 wards identified at least three people that have been recruited on contract basis after piling pressure on the acting Town Clerk, Mr Vakayi Chikwekwe.
GCC spokesperson Ms Vimbai Chingwaramuse said council procedurally recruited 20 contract workers in the past week.
The contract workers were engaged to clear storm drains and refuse removal.
“We had a council resolution to hire part time employees to ensure that there is adequate refuse collection. The reason to boost service provision in terms of refuse collection is for us to ensure that the city is clean and drainage systems are not clogged as we are now approaching the rainy season,” she said.
Ms Chingwaramuse dismissed reports of alleged nepotism and corruption in the hiring of the contract workers saying the process was above board.
“We only took 20 people (and) they are not coming through councillors. We are conducting a recruitment program as council. Employees have been leaving and we have not been replacing them so these part time employees are filling that gap,” she said.
Ms Chingwaramuse said council has managed to bring employees’ salaries up to date.
“We do not owe back pay to our employees. We have liquidated and most are doing set off arrangements. We are up to date with our salaries. More so every employee at the city of Gweru was paid their bonus. We cherish human capital and we are in the process of engaging workers to cushion them in light with the harsh economic environment,” she said.
There have been reports of alleged nepotism and corruption especially from people not affiliated to MDC Alliance as those who have been engaged are allegedly belonging to that party and or are close allies to the councillors.