Tendai Mahachi (Town Clerk)

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Tendai Mahachi
Tendai Mahachi, Town Clerk
BornTendai Mahachi
(1950-11-15) November 15, 1950 (age 73)
EducationUniversity of Minnesota, USA
  • Town Clerk
EmployerHarare City Council

Tendai Mahachi was the town clerk for the city of Harare. He was suspended in July 2015 to pave way for investigations on allegations concerning him. In August 2015 he made headlines for demanding an exit package amounting to 3 million. In 2019, he was arrested and went on trial for his involvement in the Auger / Airport Road deal.

Personal Details

1950 – born.
Michael Mahachi – Brother.
No other information could be found on his place of birth, or family.


BA in Chemistry - Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, USA.
M.Sc in Analytical Chemistry - University of Minnesota, Duluth, Minnesota, USA.
PHD in Organic Chemistry - University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA.
[1] [2] [3]

Other Training

  • Executive Development Programme - Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Illinois, USA, 2000
  • Business Financial Awareness Course - Unilever Four Acres, UK, 1999
  • Unilever Senior Leadership Course - Unilever Four Acres, UK, 1998
  • Unilever Senior Management Course - Unilever Four Acres, UK, 1996
  • Senior Marketing Awareness Programme - Unilever Four Acres, UK, 1994
  • Unilever Manufacturing Course - Sao Paulo, Brazil, 1992
  • Unilever International Management Seminar - Sterling Forest, New York, USA, 1991[3]

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Service / Career

Previously, director at a number of local and regional organisations, among them Lever Brothers Malawi, Lever Brothers Zimbabwe, Unilever South East Africa (covering Zimbabwe).
July 2003 to March 2005 - Non Executive Chairman of Crittal Hope Limited Zimbabwe.
2004 – joined HCC as a turnaround strategist.
2005 - Air Zimbabwe's chief executive officer.
[1] [2]

Positions Held

  • February 1989 to February 1992 - Unilever Research Vlaardingen, Vlaardingen, The Netherlands - Research and Development Liaison Officer [3]
  • February 1992 to February 1994 - Lever Brothers Zimbabwe, Harare - Operational Manager Elida Ponds and Group Development Manager
  • February 1994 to October 1997 - Lever Brothers Malawi, Limbe - Technical Director
  • October 1997 to December 2001 - Lever Brothers Zimbabwe, Harare - Technical Director
  • January 2002 to December 2002 - Unilever South East Africa Covering Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia - Supply Chain Director
  • January 2003 to December 2004 - Caustic Lye Industry - Consultant


Mahachi was suspended in July 2015 by City of Harare Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni to allow for investigations into a litany of accusations against him and “allow the succession issue at Town House”.[4][5]

Exit Package List of Demands

In August 2015, Mahachi through his lawyers Magwaliba and Kwirira Legal Practitioners demanded a mutual termination of his employment on condition that he was paid a severance package of four months' salary for every year served.[5] He made a list of 22 demands which are as follows;

  • The council should buy him a brand new Jeep Cherokee Overland Model at an estimated cost of close to $50 000 in addition to the
  • Toyota Land Cruiser V8 model he was using
  • The Toyota V8 should be serviced at the expense of Harare City Council
  • Cash in lieu of notice” of three months’ salary payment in lieu of notice
  • Six months’ worth newspaper allowances
  • A payment of six months contribution to the funeral allowance benefit
  • Six months’ salary to be paid as severance salary
  • Six months fuel allocation
  • He should be allowed to purchase a commercial stand in Southerton Township measuring 6 400 square metres.,
  • Allocation of Belvedere mansion with City of Harare paying capital gains tax for the transfer
  • Payment of leave days
  • Three term fees for his two children
  • Cell phone handset
  • Payment in pension in terms of the existing and applicable pension regulations
  • Taxes be deducted from package
  • Payment of salary arrears relating to performance bonuses
  • All payments to be paid in his bank account
  • Payment and settlement of package should be done in two months with effect from date of agreement
  • The salaries should be paid using March 2013 rates
  • Payment of accrued leave days
  • Four months' salary
  • Six months payment of medical aid.[5][6]

Three Month's Notice

In August 2015, Mahachi was given a three month's notice in line with the 2015 Labour Ruling.[7]



Mahachi was alleged to be earning a salary over $37 000 in January 2014.[8] It was also reported that him and his 18 member management team were gobbling close to half a million in salaries.[8] Following this revelation, Mahachi was summoned to appear before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Local Government in March 2014 to expalin in detail his salary. He failed to provide his payslip and records of salary negotiations to prove that the allowances paid to him and members of his executive team had council approval.[9] Mahachi had initially failed to provide the Mayor with the executive salary schedule for Town House managers resulting in him being suspended.[10] The decision to suspend him was however reversed by the then Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Ignatius Chombo in February 2014.[11]

Age Forgery Allegations

In June 2014 there were allegations in the media that Dr Mahachi had forged his age to possibly extend his tenure in office and escape job cuts that were targeting those above the age of 60.[12] Documents at hand suggested that Mahachi had been born in 1956 whereas his passport highlighted that he was born in 1950. Mahachi declined to comment on the matter.[12] There were also allegations that he withheld his employment file so that his age would not be revealed so as to escape mandatory retrenchment.[13]

Corruption Allegations

Mahachi was fingered as having authorised the acquisition of 25 luxury vehicles for top officials worth an estimated $2 million without council approval and using part of the money borrowed from Afreximbank of China for rehabilitation of the city’s obsolete water reticulation system.[12]


In March 2014, Municipal activist Philosophy Nyapfumbi went on a hunger strike against the Town Clerk to have Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni provide a favourable response over the plight of Harare residents. [14]

Also in March 2014, Town Clerk Mahachi sent six directors on retrenchment, as the start of an exercise that would result in 10 of the senior employees being relieved of their duties to cut on employment costs. They were city treasurer Mr Misheck Mubvumbi, business development manager Mr Cosmas Zvikaramba, housing and community services Mr Justine Chivavaya, urban planning services Mr Psychology Chivanga, engineering services Eng Philip Pfukwa, director amenities Mr Dombo Chibanda and an executive Mr Stewart Mungofa. The exercise was expected to see the ten directors share US$3 million as part of their retrenchment packages. Human resources and general purposes committee chairman councillor Wellington Chikombo confirmed that some of the directors received their letters of retrenchment. Remuneration was consuming more than half of Harare’s revenue. The exercise reduced the complement of middle managers and retrenched 1 190 workers. The city had 45 middle managers and an overall workforce of 6 348. The city’s 18 directors were gobbling over US$500 000 in salaries monthly at a time service delivery plummeted to levels where the municipality could not replace street light bulbs. [15]

In November 2018, Tendai Mahachi and his brother Michael Mahachi appeared in court on criminal abuse of office allegations. This resulted from allegedly contracting Augur Investment, a non-registered company to construct Airport Road without going to tender in May 2008.The upgrade was valued at $80. Michael Mahachi was the Commission Chairman at the time. Augur Investments did not complete the project as it did not have the capacity to handle such a project and City of Harare was prejudiced of $80m being the value of land measuring 107 5072 hectares that was transferred to Augur Investments

Mahachi, was represented by Tapson Dzvetero. Augur Investment was represented by Kenneth Sharpe and Oleksandr Sheremet. [Shepherd Makonde]] appeared for the State. They appeared before magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa. [16]

He was denied bail and remanded in custody to December 6. [17]

In December 2018, ZACC opened investigations and brought charges into how Tendai Mahachi and six other senior council officials allegedly siphoned over $1 million through dubious allowances and perks.

When CoH fired Mahachi in 2014, it also dismissed Tendai Kwenda (Finance Director) and Cainos Chingombe (Human capital Director), and chamber secretary, Josephine Ncube and city health director Prosper Chonzi status was yet undecided.

This resulted from an audit, done by the Local Government ministry in 2017 – the Justice George Smith audit. This found top directors allocated themselves hefty salaries and allowances without council approval and in some cases, looted public funds. Mahachi and three other senior directors allegedly siphoned $282 000 from council without explanation. Other senior managers implicated were former water director Christopher Zvobgo, works director Philip Pfukwa and Cainos Chingombe. [18]

In February 2019, The Augur / Airport Road case was again in court, This time with Sekesai Makwavarara, another former Commission chairman, also present, as an alleged accomplice of the two Mahachis. She was released on $1000 bail. She was to be back on court 28 February 2019. [19] [20] [21]

In February 2019, regional magistrate Mr Hoseah Mujaya ruled the trial of the three accused would be concurrent, would run from March 25 to 28, and they were remanded until 25 March. [22]

On 13 June 2019, the trail failed to commence because the special prosecutor, Zivanai Macharaga of the anti-corruption special prosecution unit in the office of President Emmerson Mnangagwa, failed to turn up. [23]

The trail was postponed to July 16 as Mr Zivanai Macharaga, the prosecutor handling it, was not available. Prosecutor Ephraim Zinyandu requested for the postponement when the trio appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Hosea Mujaya. [24]

In November 2019, the trail commenced, with Tendayi Mahachi and his two suspected accomplices, Sekesai Makwavarara and Michael Mahachi, denying the charges arising from the US$80 000 Airport Road contract in a land-for-work deal with a Ukrainian company. They argue that the charges being levelled against them were malicious and that the decision to engage Augur Investments to put in the road in return for 107 572 hectares of council land was collectively made by the then caretaker Harare City Council. The court was told that the then Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning had endorsed the deal after a series of meetings had been held between HCC and Augur Investments. Tendai Mahachi was represented by Mr Admire Rubaya. Sekesai Makwavarara was represented by Mr Musindo Hungwe. Michael Mahachi was represented by Mr Misheck Hogwe. Prosecutor is Mr Zivanai Macharaga, who led evidence from Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) investigator Zondai Makawa. The judge was Mr Makomo. [25]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Zimbabwe: Mahachi's Turbulent History, Financial Gazette, Published: 13 February 2014, Retrieved: 18 January 2020
  2. 2.0 2.1 Moses Matenga, Harare awaits decision on suspended Mahachi, Standard, Published: July 5, 2015, Retrieved: August 25, 2015
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Harare
  4. Moses Matenga, Harare town clerk sent on forced leave, NewsDay, Published: July 1, 2015, Retrieved: August 25, 2015
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Moses Matenga, Mahachi demands $3m exit package, NewsDay, Published: August 25, 2015, Retrieved: August 25, 2015
  6. Innocent Ruwende, Mahachi demands golden handshake, Herald, Published: August 25, 2015, Retrieved: August 25, 2015
  7. Innocent Ruwende, Mahachi fired on 3 month's notice, Herald, Published: August 27, 2015, Retrieved: August 27, 2015
  8. 8.0 8.1 Moses Matenga, 18 Town House bosses gobble $500k monthly, NewsDay, Published: January 28, 2014, Retrieved: August 25, 2015
  9. NewsDay Editorial, Parliament must come down hard on Mahachi, NewsDay, Published: March 13, 2014, Retrieved: August 25, 2015
  10. Andrew Kanambura, End Of Mahachi-Era?, Financial Gazette, Published: July 9, 2015, Retrieved: August 25, 2015
  11. Patrice Makova, Chombo shields $37 000 official, Southern Eye, Published: February 2, 2014, Retrieved: August 25, 2015
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Moses Mutenga, Mahachi in forgery storm, NewsDay, Published: June 18, 2014, Retrieved: August 25, 2015
  13. Moses Mutenga, Mahachi lied to us: Mayor, NewsDay, Published: July 8, 2015, Retrieved: August 25, 2015
  14. Anti-Mahachi hunger strike to resume, Newsday, Published: 20 March 2014, Retrieved: 4 January 2020
  15. Harare Council downsizes, All Africa, Published: 20 March 2014, Retrieved: 4 January 2020
  16. Mahachi remanded in custody, Newsday, Published: 23 November 2018, Retrieved: 4 January 2020
  17. Ex-Harare town clerk denied bail, Nehanda Radio / Daily News, Published: 23 November 2018, Retrieved: 4 January 2020
  18. ZACC Takes Aim At Former Harare Town Clerk On Salarygate Scandal, Zimeye / Newsday, Published: 12 December 2018, Retrieved: 4 January 2020
  19. Ex-Harare mayor Sekesai Makwavarara in court over $80mln 2007 fraud, bailed $1000, New Zimbabwe, Published: 6 February 2019, Retrieved: 31 Dec 2019
  20. Ex-Harare council boss in court over graft, Newsday, Published: 7 February 2019, Retrieved: 31 December 2019
  21. Makwavarara granted bail, Harare Metro, Published: 7 February 2019, Retrieved: 31 December 2019
  22. Ex-council bigwigs’ trials to run concurrently, The Herald, Published: 4 March 2019, Retrieved: 31 December 2019
  23. ED prosecutor bunks Harare City bosses trial, News Day, Published: 14 June 2019, Retrieved: 31 December 2019
  24. Ex-city bosses’ trial deferred to July 16, The Herald, Published: 14 June 2019, Retrieved: 31 December 2019
  25. Trial of ex-council bosses opens, The Herald, Published: 26 November 2019, Retrieved: 31 December 2019

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