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Councillors ‘blow a fuse’ over the hiring of an electrician

By Vumani Mthiyane

The Municipality of Gwanda councillors were last week left divided over the recommendation of engaging the services of a full-time electrician.

Giving a report of the Environment and Health committee during a full council meeting held at council chambers, the chairperson, Councillor Thulani Moyo raised the issue of employing a full-time electrician for adoption.

Cllr Moyo said it is high time for council to engage a fulltime electrician considering the state of affairs of the lighting system in the mining town.

He said the four pumps at the sewer and water station have to be constantly repaired and maintained hence there is need for a fulltime electrician.

However, before the recommendation was adopted, ward 4 Councillor Njabulo Siziba objected and said it is not a noble idea to have a fulltime electrician noting that council coffers were in a bad state.

“Personally, I don’t think we need the services of a fulltime electrician instead we can contract one in times of need. We are currently swimming in debts and we still want to increase our wage bill. To me this electrician cannot be engaged 24/7 as long as we haven’t taken over the water plant from Zinwa because that is where work is,” quipped Cllr Siziba.

Responding to his views, ward 5 Councillor Gilbert Dube said there was need to engage a full-time electrician.

“The committee saw if fit to have the fulltime services of an electrician after wide consultations and agreed to employ one. He/she shall be responsible to install and maintain our streetlights and other council properties that need the services of an electrician.

“It is expensive to engage an electrician on a short-term contract because the charges can be thousands of dollars yet an employee will be paid say a month salary of RTGS 600,” he said.

Cllr Moyo also threw his weight behind Cllr Dube saying, “We have robots, tower lights, we have council structures and streetlights as well as the treatment plant. All those facilities need the day to day maintenance of an electrician. I can foresee a lot demanding work,” said Cllr Moyo adding that the onus of taking him/her permanently remains with council management.

The municipality of Gwanda recently called for applications through the press inviting suitably qualified and experienced persons for the position of an electrician who will report directly under the engineering department.

Part of the duties will be to maintain and repair of electric motors associated with pumps at stations, project programming and estimating installation of new electrical equipment maintenance of council infrastructure among other duties.   

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