<strong>HARARE</strong> - Is it not sad that a major city can operate for nearly four years without a substantive chief executive?</p>
Such is the case with Harare, which has been operating without a substantive town clerk since 2015.
After cutting ties with Tendai Mahachi three years ago, the city fathers have been on a merry-go-round, trying to find a suitable candidate for the job, but encountering roadblocks from politicians.
About two years ago, they settled for banker, James Mushore, but their efforts came to naught after the then Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere vetoed the decision because the appointment had not been authorised by the Local Government Board (LGB), which was more like a puppet of the minister.
Mushore is now in the courts, fighting his rejection and stands to get a hefty separation package in the event that the Labour Court rules in his favour.
Not giving up, the city fathers shortlisted three candidates last year after a rigorous interviewing process.
This time, they took their recommendations to the LGB, which shot down their list of candidates on frivolous grounds, and it was back to square one for the local authority.
On Tuesday, we reported that council has shortlisted 11 candidates for the position and that the interview process will commence in the next 10 days.
But having walked this road before, Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni is edgy about the whole thing and for a good reason. With elections set for next month, the LGB may not rush its decision, and might want to see which way the election result will go so that whoever is appointed minister of Local Government after the elections will give them direction.
Such has been the sad situation in Zimbabwe’s municipalities whereby the voice of politicians now holds sway in the running of our towns and cities when there are competent people in the councils themselves who should be calling the shots on a day-to-day basis.
This has not been made any easier by the conflict between councils that are dominated by the opposition MDC, and the Executive, which is under the ruling Zanu PF party.
But as the politicians and bureaucrats pull in different directions, service delivery has gone south and not even the politicians can claim to be enjoying it.
This really, is no different from a foolish person who cuts off a tree branch on which they are standing.