BULAWAYO has not appointed a substantive town clerk for almost three years due to the failure by the Local Authority Board to approve a candidate from a list forwarded by the city a year ago.
Bulawayo has not had a town clerk since the death of Stanley Donga, who was in that position for a month before his death in 2007.
A full council meeting on Wednesday said there was need to engageÂ government so that a town clerk is appointed urgently.
Since Dongaâ€™s death the government has appointed Bulawayo provincial administrator, Khonzani Ncube, to act as town clerk, a move that has caused friction with councillors who argue that the Urban Councils Act stipulates that the chamber secretary should be seconded to the post in the absence of the incumbent.
The issue of the appointment of a town clerk for Bulawayo has turned political after councillors said Ncube should not sit in on council meetings, a move many believe infuriated Local Government minister Ignatious Chombo, resulting in delays in the confirmation of the town clerk.
Bulawayo mayor, Thaba Moyo, said they were still awaiting a response from the Local Authority Board for a candidate after they sent a list of three shortlisted candidates to the board last year.
â€œWe are still awaiting confirmation from the Local Authority Board,â€ Moyo said. â€œNames were sent to them a long time ago but since then we have not heard anything from them.â€ Â
Front-runners for the position include the incumbent chamber secretary, Gilbert Dube and the city treasurer, Middleton Nyoni.
The other candidate for the post is the current Gwanda town clerk, Gilbert Mlilo who is said to have performed well during interviews. Moyo said the council will engage Chombo on the issue.
â€œAs it is, the city is suffering as the town clerk is the one who should lead all our development projects. We will engage Chombo so that the process is expedited,â€ Moyo said.
Bulawayo has been rated as one of the best-run local authorities in the country but without a substantive town clerk and a collapsing national economy, service delivery has deteriorated with potholed roads, burst sewers and uncollected rubbish everywhere.
BY LOUGHTY DUBE