Harare offers axed boss $500k, he wanted millions

By: 
Staff Reporter

FORMER Harare town clerk, Tendai Mahachi, will likely get a severance package of about $500,000 – a fair distance from the $3 million he had demanded after being fired in August.

Mahachi, who had been the capital’s chief executive since 2007, was dismissed after a number of run-ins with the opposition MDC-T dominated city council.

The official was thought to be pro-Zanu PF and enjoyed the protection of former local government minister, Ignatius Chombo, until the latter was removed from the ministry.

Following his dismissal, Mahachi demanded a huge exit package and took the local authority to court, accusing councillors of breaching the law when sacking him.

State media however reported Friday that a deal had been reached over his package.

Mahachi, sources told The Herald, agreed to walk away with $500,000.

The deal was reached between a team appointed by Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni and the former town clerk’s lawyers.

“The team reported to the mayor that they had settled for $500 000 and the mayor in turn briefed the ministry.

“The ministry felt the amount was hefty and slashed it to $100 000, a figure which Dr Mahachi’s representatives have rejected,” sources close to the development told the daily.

Mahachi’s lawyer, Chenjerai Daitai, confirmed an agreement had been thrashed out.

“We reached an agreement with the city on a certain figure which I cannot disclose but the city has not yet implemented our agreement.

“We have written two letters which the city did not respond to. We will be filing an application at the High Court challenging the city to fulfil its obligations,” he said.

Mayor Manyenyeni was however, cagey.

“We are still discussing his retirement from council. Progress has been slower than we had hoped for.

“Nothing has been agreed to yet,” he said.

Following his ouster in August, Mahachi’s lawyers told council that their client wanted a $3m exit package.

He also demanded $100,000 salary for every year he served, a new Jeep Cherokee Overland registered in his name at the local authority’s expense and a council house located in a top Harare neighbourhood.

Outraged residents associations said the poor state of service delivery in Harare was proof that Mahachi deserved no “golden handshake”.

“We think he has already paid himself enough through his mega salaries for the past eight years,” said Harare Residents Trust director Precious Shumba.

“Mahachi’s dismal record in managing the city affairs is there for all to see.

“Water delivery is at its lowest, refuse collection is inconsistent and at most non-existent, and city roads are riddled with potholes.

“What justification does he have in making such outrageous demands?!”

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