By Bulawayo Correspondent
GOVERNMENT has granted the Bulawayo City Council (BCC) permission to employ 400 employees in a move set to improve service delivery in the country’s second capital.
BCC requested for permission from the Local Government ministry to employ 1 341 workers over a four-year period citing severe human resources challenges which were crippling service delivery.
The ministry approved subsequently approved the appointment of two new two senior employees as well as the promotion of 19 employees mainly from the town clerk’s office, engineering, and financial services departments.
“We wish to inform you that, in an internal memorandum dated May 7, 2021, the Minister of Local Government approved your request to recruit 400 staff members,” reads a letter addressed to BCC by the Local Government ministry secretary, Zvinechimwe Churu.
Following the government’s approval, the city council said it was now geared for the recruitment process expected to start immediately.
According to a recent council confidential report, the general purposes committee has also approved the recruitment.
“Since the response had been received after the sitting of the general purposes committee, the matter was reported directly to council for general information. The matter was considered and Councillor Tawanda Ruzive sought clarity on the employment process,” the report reads in part.
“He wanted to know if this would be done internally or externally. The deputy mayor, Councillor Mlandu Ncube, however, felt that there was a need to consider those who would be acting in those positions.”
However, Councillor Rodney Jele said the council should encourage workers in acting positions, but without relevant qualifications, to go back to college and upgrade their skills.
In response, the acting human capital director said an employee should not be allowed to hold an acting position if they did not qualify, adding work experience should be coupled with qualifications.
In 2010, the government through Section 313 of the Urban Councils Act declared that no local authority may employ any employee at any grade, including casual or contract workers, without the written permission of the Local Government Minister.
July Moyo is the Local Government Minister.
However, the Town Clerks Forum has condemned the Act arguing it affected the local authorities’ operations, including service delivery to ratepayers.
For years, Bulawayo has been experiencing a number of service delivery challenges which include water shortages, blocked sewer systems, potholes on most of its roads, and non-payment of rentals and service delivery charges by ratepayers, thereby losing millions in uncollected revenue.