Harare City Council offered ousted town clerk Dr Tendai Mahachi a $150 000 retirement package coupled with an option to buy his Toyota VX Land Cruiser at book value for his contribution and service to the city.
Dr Mahachi, who wanted a $3 million handshake, has, however, been asked to surrender the water project vehicle, a Land Rover Discovery 4, which is in his possession.Harare will retire Dr Mahachi from service when he reaches 65 years of age on December 31 this year following protracted exit package negotiations after he was sent on forced leave in July this year for reportedly stalling the city’s succession plan.
Dr Mahachi then offered to leave council and was in the process of negotiating an exit package with the city. Dr Mahachi disputes the council’s contention that he will turn 65 this year, saying he is 59 this year.
According to a letter written to Dr Mahachi by Harare Mayor Councillor Bernard Manyenyeni, Dr Mahachi remains on forced leave until the stated date of retirement with full salary and benefits.
“I am hereby confirming your retirement from council service with effect from December 31, 2015 the month following the attainment of age 65 years.“For avoidance of doubt the salary applicable for the purposes of any salary linked benefits will be $6 285,45 per month in terms of the revised executive remuneration levels under City of Harare. I will be directing the acting town clerk (Mrs Josephine Ncube) to manage the formalities associated with your normal retirement,” read part of the letter.
Mayor Manyenyeni said without obligation, and on no-prejudice basis he would seek approval from council and the Local Government Board to award Dr Mahachi an ex-gratia amount of $150 000 for his contribution and service to Harare.
This offer which is not enforceable is likely to bring about a legal dispute between the city and Dr Mahachi who had earlier demanded a $3 million golden handshake while the city had offered him $500 000.
Dr Mahachi lawyer Mr Chenjerai Daitai of Magwaliba and Kwirira Legal Practitioners confirmed receiving the letter.
“I can confirm we received a letter from council. We are still to respond to it,” he said.Council endorsed a decision to terminate Dr Mahachi’s contract in August which was made by the Human Resources and General Purposes Committee in September.Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni was authorized to negotiate a package with Dr Mahachi’s lawyers during a special council meeting.
Dr Mahachi had made an application filed at the High Court arguing that Section 139(2) of the Urban Councils’ Act requires that prior to the termination of a contract of employment in respect of a town clerk, the Local Government Board must approve the termination.
He however withdrew the application in which he was seeking an order compelling the city to reinstate him following the negotiations.
Prior to making a High Court application Dr Mahachi had demanded a golden handshake from the city and among his 22 demands he wanted the city to give him a mansion in Belvedere and two top of the range vehicles.
According to a letter written by his lawyers to mayor Manyenyeni Dr Mahachi who earned more than $27 000 wanted the city to pay him more than $100 000 for every year he served the city.He joined the city in 2007.