Zimbabwe: Why Nepotism At Town House Must End

Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa and President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
9 October 2019

The allegations that City of Harare councillors could be setting up their relatives for jobs in various departments, leaving a trail of similar names in the municipality's employment books, is worrying and should be nipped in the bud.

With over 100 council workers sharing names with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change-Alliance (MDC-A) top officials and councillors, indications are that Harvest House may be interfering in the running of the city at the expense of service delivery.

Harare should be rescued from the clutches of the opposition, as council is failing to live up to its mandate of maintaining the capital's "Sunshine City" status.

The list of council's shortfalls include failure to provide clean drinking water, absence of a functioning sewer system, and roads littered with potholes.

For instance, some residential areas in Harare have been hit by diarrhoeal outbreaks due to lack of proper sanitation, compounded by inadequate provision of clean and safe water by the city council.

As a result of the council's failure to provide sufficient trading areas, second-hand clothes traders have started trickling back onto Harare's pavements, a year after being pushed out.

Chaos continues to reign at the Mupedzanhamo flea market in Mbare, as the area is overpopulated, with scores of vendors taking up the larger part of pavements.

Council is doing nothing to solve these issues because of incompetence.

Going on to employ their relatives ahead of competent people exposes the extent of the rot at council.

While it is not atypical for several members of a family to work at the same institution or organisation, such circumstances can be niggling if the relationships affect the execution of duties by employees, leading to disorder and poor services in the organisation, as is the case at Harare City Council.

Even if it is in our human nature to help those we love and who are like us, it is important to ensure that the employees meet the job requirements and expertise to achieve satisfactory outcomes for the company.

Nepotism and organisational politics impact negatively on job satisfaction and employees' job performance, given that the top officials are close relatives.

It would not have been a big deal if employees were professional in carrying out their duties, but by the look of things, there is very little happening in terms of service delivery by the city workers.

MDC-Alliance officials have poked their noses into council business to cater for their needs, while ignoring those of the ratepayers.

Nepotism often ignores the need for expertise, professional attitudes and knowledge which creates problems.

It usually relies upon strong political positions rather than value foundation entry by the employee.

Employers must stand their ground in thwarting this amateurish act from becoming the norm in job recruitment.

To minimise the effects of organisational politics and nepotism on employee performance, laws and rules should be put in place to strictly manage injustices regarding initiation of employees and promotion.

Human resources departments in companies should ensure that all those employed have job descriptions that include specific goals.

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