Fairness Moyana, Hwange Correspondent
HWANGE Local Board (HLB) Town Secretary Mr Ndumiso Mdlalose who had been placed on three months forced leave pending investigations into financial irregularities has been ordered back to work by the parent ministry after council flouted procedure.
Mr Mdlalose started work on Monday after receiving a letter from the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing advising him to report for duty after it was noted that the councillors had erred in sending him on a three months forced leave.
He had been sent on forced leave for three months on 20 April with full pay and benefits pending the conclusion of an investigation into financial irregularities at the council.
Board chairperson Mr Cosmas Kaboloma Ndhlovu confirmed the development, saying the council had been ordered to reinstate him after they failed to follow procedure.
“Yes, the secretary is back at work, he was not on suspension but on three months forced leave. The ministry felt that we did not follow laid down disciplinary procedures regarding senior managers in the absence of our code of conduct using SI 15 of 2006 where we were supposed to suspend him for 14 days then lay charges before a hearing that would determine his fate. The ministry said we should sit and rescind the decision because it was not in the best interest of council at large and we have since reversed the resolution,” said Clr Ndhlovu.
He said Mr Mdlalose had not yet been charged and was still under investigations over financial discrepancies that council had noted.
Queried on the possible interference with investigations following the reinstatement Clr Ndhlovu said they stood guided by their parent ministry on the way forward.
“We will be guided by the ministry on how we should proceed because immediately when they said we should reinstate him we did so without hesitating. We get advice from the ministry and we cannot go against our parent ministry as they are the supreme body in the governance of local authorities so we will hear from them.”
As a result of the suspension Mr Mdlalose was barred from visiting council offices or participate in any activities relating to the local authority.
Mr Mdlalose confirmed he was back at work and called on everyone to work to bring to fruition projects that the council was working on.
“Yes, I’m back at work and focusing on working towards the implementation of projects that council embarked on,” he said.