HARARE – The recruitment of a new Harare City Council director of works has been delayed as applicants could not make the grade for the top job.
Council human capital director Cainos Chingombe said a report compiled by acting town clerk Josephine Ncube indicated that there was need to re-advertise the position, which they wanted to be filled internally.
Current works director Phillip Pfukwa has been on a yearly contract with council following expiry of his contract in 2015.
His renewed contract lapsed on July 31, this year.
“50 applications had been received from which 10 candidates had been short-listed. However, interviews could not proceed due to quality observations that had been made regarding the shortlisted candidates. Some of the candidates lacked the requisite qualifications and maturity needed for the position,” Chingombe said.
He said Pfukwa would be playing an oversight role in the department while management resolved the recruitment challenges.
Human resources committee chairperson Wellington Chikombo said Pfukwa had been retained because of his immense experience in the field.
Chikombo said the engineer had been tasked with grooming his subordinates.
“He is endowed with institutional memory and is a granary of knowledge. As a way of creating continuity and avoidance of vacuum, we penned annually-based contracts. You cannot make a trial and error when it comes to provision of water,” he said.
He added that since the rationalisation exercise of 2014 that saw departments and their heads being cut, the city now has a total staff complement of 7 342.
Chikombo, however, said because their establishments requires 9 721 employees, Harare has a vacancy of 2 039 employees.
The human resources committee chairperson said despite the downsizing, service delivery has not been compromised.
“The brutal truth is that the city of Harare is the capital which unfortunately has companies closing down, unemployment hovering above 80 percent, hunger, deprivation and people ridden with disease.
“The accusation that service delivery has collapsed seems quite naïve because one cannot expect local authorities to perform well when central government itself is drowning in perpetual deflation,” he said.