Harare, March 12, 2014 – Harare town clerk Tendai Mahachi yesterday failed to produce adequate documents in Parliament justifying his $13 000 salary which he claims was approved by the mayor and the Local Government ministry.
Mahachi was giving oral evidence before the parliamentary portfolio committee on Local Government chaired by Zanu PF MP Irene Zindi.
He was accompanied by other Harare municipal directors.
MDC MP Webster Maondera said the legislators were not impressed with the documentation Mahachi had presented.
“The documents we are having here don’t show anything that we want to know, for example, whether you are not getting more allowances and whether they were approved by council,” Maondera said.
“We also want to know whether there was a council resolution that agreed you earn more allowances and why are you not bringing any supporting documents that everything you were doing is above board in the interest of the rate-payers.”
Legislators did not approve the salary schedule that Mahachi produced, demanding that it be revised because it was not in sync with the services council was giving to the residents.
Mahachi was suspended in January pending investigations into allegations of failing to discharge his duties and furnishing council with the salary schedule for Town House bosses.
The three-month suspension came after media reports that Mahachi, together with 18 managers, took home about $500 000 monthly, an assertion later rubbished by Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo.
Manyenyeni had said the suspension will be for a period of three months and was done in terms of Section 13 of the Urban Councils Act.
But Chombo told a press conference in Harare that Mahachi was bouncing back as he could not be used as a sacrificial lamb because of a schedule whose origins were unknown.
Mahachi said the salary was approved after a consultation that was carried by Grant Thornton Camelsa auditing company. He said the Kurasha Commission report also justified their salaries.
He said he had informed the Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni and showed him the salary schedule of all directors, which he claimed the mayor had approved.
Lawmakers asked why Mahachi does not consider resigning from Town house as he had failed to run the affairs of council.
The town clerk said he was not ready to throw in the towel.
“I have been working hard a lot and I have managed to improve the refuse truck fleet, buying 47 trucks,” he said. “I have also managed to bring in some water to Mabvuku, which was not having water for a long time and I don’t consider myself to have failed in my duty as a town clerk.”.
MPs queried Mahachi’s $1 400 entertainment allowance and whom he was entertaining with such a huge amount.
“I have hosted the Chinese delegation several times at my house and using these allowances and I have also taken them to expensive restaurants, using the same allowance,” Mahachi said.