By Tonderai Saharo
THE hunt for a new Masvingo town clerk has begun with a record 42 applicants submitting their papers to occupy the top office.
A shortlist of successful candidates for interviews is expected to be availed by mid-February, mayor Collins Maboke has said.
The local authority’s top post fell vacant last year after the retirement of longest serving Masvingo town clerk Adolf Gusha who ran council affairs for nearly two decades.
Currently, Engineer Edward Mukaratirwa is holding the hot seat in an acting capacity and is also among the contenders for the hot seat.
Mayor Maboke said the local authority will soon engage the services of a consultant who will come up with a shortlist of candidates for interviews.
He said the consultant will also be responsible for the conducting of interviews to choose the best candidate for the top job.
“We received a total of 42 applications for the position of town clerk and as part of the Ministry of Local Government guidelines, council is mandated to secure the services of a consultant who will be in charge of the recruitment of the best candidate.
“We anticipate that the entire process will be completed in February such that by March, the city will be having a substantive Town Clerk,” Maboke said.
The new town clerk will be faced with a huge task of turning around the fortunes of the ancient city, which has battled acute water shortages as well as a cocktail of unfinished capital projects, once funded but failed to be completed in unclear circumstances.
The unfinished projects include the main sewer line in which council received millions of United States Dollars from NSSA several years ago but failed to complete.
Masvingo United Residents and Ratepayers Alliance hopes the best candidate shall emerge from the process and one who will not shy away from engaging residents to gauge their input on how best to deal with the affairs of the troubled local authority.
“We anticipate a person who will respect citizen participation in local governance issues,” MURRA spokesperson Godfrey Mtimba said.