City of Masvingo acting town clerk engineer Edward Mukaratirwa, who was instructed by the special full council meeting last Friday to serve city engineer Tawanda Gozo with a suspension letter today (Monday, February 1) pending an investigation into his conduct, has said that he is still weighing the options.
Mukaratirwa said that he will not rush to make a decision without carefully considering all the other routes available.
“A recommendation was made by the special full council on Friday last week to the effect that our engineer (Gozo) should be suspended.
“The recommendation was presented to my office and I am still putting into play other considerations. We do not want to make a hasty decision without considering other options which may be available to us.
“We would like to see if there are no other options other than suspension but at the end of the day we need to make a decision that is best for the council,” said Mukaratirwa.
He said he would have considered all the options by Wednesday and the public will be made aware.
The recommendation to suspend Gozo comes against the background of gross incompetence in the city’s engineering department.
City of Masvingo mayor Collen Maboke told TellZim News that Gozo stands accused of gross incompetence and they registered their displeasure to Mukaratirwa.
Maboke said he once engaged Mukaratirwa and Gozo over the deterioration of service delivery in the city and the engineer did not heed the advice.
“What we did was register our displeasure over the conduct of Gozo to his immediate supervisor, Mukaratirwa.
“Service delivery has deteriorated under Gozo’s watch and I once engaged him on the matter but it seems he did not listen. Mukaratirwa was in that meeting as well.
“So what the special full council meeting did was to recommend for an investigation by Mukaratirwa and if Gozo is found guilty, he will face disciplinary action guided by Section 140 of the Urban Councils Act,” said Maboke.
He said Gozo committed a serious crime of incompetence which warranted dismissal but said it is at the discretion of Mukaratirwa to suspend him pending an investigation or keep him on the job while being investigated.
“Gozo has no sense of urgency. Recently the city received dirty water from the taps and it took Gozo the whole day to look into the matter. Look at our roads, drainage, water, sewer and refuse collection. These have deteriorated to unprecedented levels and all fall under the authority of Gozo.
“Though the flaws are all there for everyone to see, protocol says that an investigation has to be made. It is up to Mukaratirwa to suspend Gozo pending an investigation or investigate him while on the job,” said Maboke.
Masvingo United Residents and Ratepayers Alliance (Murra) director said that if the council has sufficient evidence to suspend Gozo they should do so as long as it improves service delivery.
Muguti, however, warned the council against playing politics with service delivery saying residents have not been receiving any meaningful service from the local authority.
“What we are against is using Gozo as a scapegoat to hide their own flaws. Residents have not been receiving services from council for a long time and our thinking is that the whole council is incompetent.
“There is need to suspend all incompetent people at council and not play politics with service delivery,” said Muguti.