By Nomalanga Moyo
SW Radio Africa
18 June 2014
Harare Town Clerk Tendai Mahachi is facing allegations of altering his age, in a bid to escape the municipality’s ongoing job cuts targeting those aged above 60.
According to the NewsDay newspaper, Mahachi is among a few other senior officials suspected of falsifying their birth records to slip through the retrenchment net as the council tries to cut costs.
The newspaper report pointed out anomalies in Mahachi’s work-related documents and passport which bear different dates of birth.
The report noted that according to his passport, the town clerk was born on November 15th 1950, which means he will be turning 64 in November this year.
However, in council documents Mahachi’s birth date is given as November 15th 1956, “and he would be turning 58 in November this year and therefore was not eligible for early retirement,” the NewsDay revealed Wednesday.
Mahachi’s colleagues at Town House reportedly confirmed that the controversial town clerk had celebrated his 62nd birthday with staff two years ago.
Outspoken Harare Residents Trust director Precious Shumba said the latest allegations against Mahachi confirm the extent of the rot at Town House.
“It is unfortunate that the Harare council is taking too long to deal with our concerns regarding Dr Mahachi.
“Issues such as the Chinese loan which Mahachi diverted and used to buy luxury vehicles without council approval, the maladministration as well as underperformance associated with the local authority,” Shumba said.
Shumba said it was clear that the town clerk had altered his age to enable him to continue drawing his huge salary and perks at the expense of rate payers.
“That to us is the height of forgery and a clear manipulation of systems. As Harare residents we hope council authorities will get to the bottom of this and suspend the town clerk.
“This highlights the lack of integrity by those entrusted with public office. Our public institutions are staffed with criminals and corruption goes unchecked.”
Shumba blamed President Mugabe and his Cabinet for granting Mahachi immunity and facilitating his stay in office despite being implicated in several scandals.
“Mahachi has been known to use President Robert Mugabe and Minister Ignatius Chombo’s names when council officials challenge him over poor decision-making and on issues of transparency and accountability.
“As long as both the President and Minister Chombo are silent and do not act, it means they condone the town clerk’s behaviour, hence he continues to act as if he is above the law,” Shumba added.
Harare residents have long blamed Mahachi for prioritising the luxury and comfort of a few senior officials at Town House at the expense of service delivery.
A few months ago, Mahachi was forced to appear before parliament following residents’ complaints that top executives were paying themselves eye-watering salaries from a secret account.