OWEN MATAVA in Gokwe
Suspended Gokwe Town Secretary, Melania Mandeya who is facing misconduct charges has appeared before a disciplinary hearing led by Kwekwe based top lawyer Valentine Mutatu of Mutatu and Partners as the local authority seeks to get to the bottom of the matter, midlands news can reveal.
Council Chairman Councillor, Never Gwaunza confirmed the disciplinary hearing.
” Yes it is true, the disciplinary hearing is underway. However, the hearing adjourned on the 30th of June, 2020 and will only resume on the 16th of July, 2020″ said Councillor Gwaunza.
Mandeya who was officially suspended from duty on the 1st of June, 2020, faces three serious charges that of theft or fraud, gross incompetence and or inefficiency in the performance of work and habitual and substantial neglect of duty as defined in the Urban Councils Act.
Among other things, Mandeya is accused of authorising her salary and allowances for the period before December, 2014 despite the fact that her appointment as the Town Secretary for Gokwe Council had not yet been approved by the Local Government Board.
The council alleged that she claimed, authorised and received payment for fuel for business for the month of December, 2014 while she only assumed duty on the 5th of January, 2015. It is further alleged that Mandeya erected a parameter wall at stand number 155, Kambasha, Gokwe without being allocated the property by Gokwe Town Council in terms of the stand allocation policy.
Mandeya is accused of having failed to supervise and control the activities of staff in the Engineering department in that her plan for the parameter wall on stand number 155 and 156 Kambasha, Gokwe was approved by a graduate intern in the Engineering department without the knowledge, supervision and approval of a substantive post holder.
The council say that the suspended Town Secretary failed to ensure the presentation of Gokwe Town Council books of accounts for external audit for the year 2017, 2018 and 2019 within the prescribed timeframe.
The Mutatu led disciplinary hearing team, will hear that Mandeya failed to ensure that Gokwe Town Council discharges its Public Finance Management reporting obligations for the whole of her employment at Gokwe Town Council.
Lawyer Reginald Chidawanyika of Chidawanyika, Chitere and Associates in Gweru is representing Mandeya.
Mandeya was suspended from duty following a public outcry over the manner in which she was handling council affairs.
The Gokwe Residents Association was on the fore front alleging that all was not well at Gokwe Town Council leading to investigations and subsequently her suspension pending disciplinary action.