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Controversy as Chinhoyi councillors try to hire unqualified girlfriends as security guards 

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By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Corespondent  


CHINHOYI Municipality’s recruitment policy has come under scrutiny following a clique of councillors’ attempt to push it to disregard the five Ordinary Levels minimum employment qualification threshold in order to accommodate their girlfriends and relatives as security guards.

Council is in the process of hiring 15 municipal police officers to beef up its depleted and ill-equipped security department blamed for failing to abate wanton vandalism of infrastructure such as solar streetlights.

As has become tradition, councillors second preferred candidates, particularly their “small houses” purportedly from their respective wards for employment.

Although general hands do not necessarily have to possess educational qualifications, nepotism has lately been rampant in the enlisting of mostly female casual workers, with some curiously going for years on the council’s pay-sheet.

Recently, some councillors attempted to manipulate the local authority’s recruitment policy by shelving the standard requirement that all prospective jobseekers must have five ‘O’ Levels.

Information reaching NewZimbabwe.com is that most councillors had forwarded their unqualified girlfriends’ names to relevant officer for consideration.

According to council minutes of a recent Human Resources and General-Purpose Committee meeting held on July 1, 2022, Chamber Secretary, Abel Gotora, said employment of security personnel had been halted after councillors attending an ordinary council meeting resolved to rubbish the minimum hiring standards.

Reads part of the minutes: “Councillor (Ishmael) Madyavanhu wanted to know why there is always a shortage at security. The Chamber Secretary advised that employment was stopped after an ordinary council meeting where it was decided to do away with minimum hiring standards…”

Gotora told the meeting a request was approved to fill vacant positions and an application to the parent Local Government ministry was done and given the nod.

“Council then advertised for the posts and people applied and whilst the interviews were in process that is when members (councillors) said they did not resolve that appliants should have 5 ‘O’ Levels as the hiring standard.

“The Chamber Secretary advised that management brings posts to the committee and not qualifications, he said the qualifications are already in the minimum hiring standards and these were approved and adopted by council,” further reads the minutes.

Top management led by Town Clerk Maxwell Kaitano was reportedly baffled by the predominantly Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) councillors’ stance.

“When the issue arose, management wondered where it was coming from and why it was for constables only and not other posts.”

Deputy mayor Mercy Mada (CCC) warned against hiring undeserving and unqualified candidates, with Gotora reiterating council would be in trouble with the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZAAC) if it disregarded its own recruiting policy.

The committee finally recommended that council proceeds to offer jobs as constables to 15 interviewees, whose gender NewZimbabwe.com could not immediately ascertain.

Efforts to get comment from mayor Garikai Dendera were fruitless by the time of publishing.