The city of Kwekwe is operating without a substantive health director for close to one and half years after the retirement of then Health Director Phyillis Gochera in 2015.

Councillors have since called for management to expedite the matter.

“When are we going to have a health director?” Finance Chairperson Janet Ticharunga queried in the recently held council meeting.

Councillors gave Central Administrator Lucia Mkandla a torrid time as they demanded an answer on the issue.

“The Human Resources department must come up with a clear answer pertaining to the recruitment of the health director,” said Mayor Matenda Madzoke.

“We are just wondering why this process of recruiting a health director has taken this long. The issue was started before Gochera left this council but it’s now nearly one and half years without anything taking place,” fumed councillor Gwalazimba.

Mkandla said that the process had taken long because as according to Health minutes there were need to fill in the vacant post of the assistant nursing director first.

“The process was to recruit the assistant director nursing services and the process was done. According to the minutes of health before the filling the post of health director we needed to fill the post of assistant director nursing services,” said Mkandla.

According to the councils Human Resources department the council advertised for the post in state daily papers, The Herald and The Chronicle.

“For us to employ someone at this level of senior management there was need for us to advertise the post first a process which we undertook. We have done background checking of the individuals whom we shortlisted and soon we will be involving policy makers,” said the Human Resources Department in a statement.

It added, “we sent the names to the Local Government Board after that they will go to the issue will go to the Minister.” the department said.

Councillor Morris Chinwada blasted the council for nepotism and lack of transparency in the recruitment process.

“We don’t tolerate nepotism which is being displayed by this council,” an angry Chinwada charged.

“We said we are not employing but we are seeing this management taking people on contractual basis. Why are we employing secretaries when there are some key areas which need manpower?” he asked.

Meanwhile, Councillor Weston Masiya has blasted council for having misplaced priorities.

“We have critical areas which need manpower but we are seeing council employing nursing individuals and secretaries. This is a case of misplaced priorities,” Masiya said.

“This is a serious case of policy inconsistencies and if the Local Government Minister is going to suspend us from council because we have taken people to propel service delivery then be it,” he fumed.

Mkandla said that council was not employing people but it was taking people on locum (contracts), in critical areas.