Harare City Council’s human capital director, Cainos Chingombe has been locked out of his office amid ongoing power struggles at Town House.
Chingombe announced his return to work from paid leave pending the resolution of his criminal case but despite being cleared by the courts, some council officials have refused to allow him back at work.
A reliable council source said Chingombe, who was on paid leave, never received his pay, despite the fact that all other directors on suspension received their salaries and benefits.
Last week, Chingombe reported for duty on Monday after communicating with acting town clerk engineer Mabhena Moyo that he had been cleared by the courts, only to find his offices locked the next day for unspecified reasons.
Another source claimed that Chingombe was first barred from working by a “conflicted” Mr Matengarufu, who was occupying his office and acting town clerk in Moyo’s absence.
“Mr Bosman Matengarufu, acting in collusion with Eng Moyo and Mayor Jacob Mafume ordered the security team to lock his office.
“As part of the victimization, engineer Mabhena Moyo has since written to Chingombe, barring him from council and ordering him to vacate offices he had occupied, saying they will set up a three-member team to negotiate his return.
” Engineer Mabhena Moyo cited a non-existent council resolution, claiming that the administrative matter was now before Mayor Jacob Mafume’s office, which has no jurisdiction to handle such a matter,” said the council source.
Moyo upon his return as acting town clerk unprocedually wrote a letter to Chingombe barring him from returning to work.
“Reference is made to the above matter and particularly your memo dated 22 November 2022 which you addressed to all Human Capital Department Heads of Division and Section.
“In reference thereto, please be advised that my letter to you dated 15 November 2022 still stands, as such you are ordered to stop reporting for duty with immediate effect pending the commencement and finalisation of the negotiation process,” read parts of his letter.
Moyo in the letter charged that Chingombe would be invited for the negotiations within the next three days.
“Your purported resumption of duty is therefore a blatant violation of a council resolution of 20 October 2022 and the letter from Local Government Board dated 14 September 2022.
“You are therefore advised to immediately vacate the offices. By copy of this letter, the Head Public Safety is hereby instructed to secure the offices,” concluded Moyo.
Three days have since lapsed and council has not engaged Chingombe over the issue concerning his employment.
Chingombe’ legal counsel, Lovemore Madhuku Law Firm advised council of his acquittal and that his leave of absence was not legally binding.
“Your attached letter is clear and unambiguous it is self explanatory. I write to advise that Dr Chingombe was acquitted by the magistrates court on 10 November, 2022.
“His criminal case has now been finalized. From your various letters, his leave of absence has automatically ended. He will be reporting for duty immediately,” reads the letter.
Chingombe’s legal team further emphasized that he was entitled to paid leave salary and benefits which they demanded should be rectified.
“This ought to be rectified immediately, including also attending to all other outstanding issues relating to unpaid benefits and remuneration,” concluded the letter.