Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo has once again suspended Harare Mayor and Ward 17 Councillor Jacob Mafume pending finalisation of his court case.
This is the fourth time that Moyo has suspended Mafume who was arrested last year on corruption charges and was suspended as mayor and Ward 17 councillor by Moyo while he was in remand prison.
The matter is still pending at the Harare Magistrates court.
The Minister, in a letter dated 17 December 2021 to Mafume made reference to his arrest in December and fears he might interfere with witnesses as argued in the High Court in December when he was granted bail.
“In line with Section 114 (2) of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 2915) as amended by the Local Government Laws Amendment Act Number 8 of 2016, I have reasonable grounds for suspecting that you Councillor Jacob Mafume have committed acts of gross misconduct, gross incompetence and willful violation of the law as referenced in subsection (1) (b); (c) and (e) and hereby suspend you, with immediate effect, from the office of Mayor for Harare City Council in terms of Section 114 of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15) as amended by Section 3 of the Local Government Laws Amendment Act, Number 8 of 2016.
“The allegations against you are that 1. You were arrested for Criminal Abuse of office by a Public Officer as defined in Section 174 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act (Chapter 9:23) and granted bail on 8 December 2020 with a number of conditions, one of which being Not to interfere with any State Witnesses. Which then compromises your ability to execute your duties as the Mayor of Harare City Council, thereby disrupting smooth running of Council operations.” Moyo said
He added “It is also alleged that pursuant to your release from custody, you contacted the key witness Edgar Dzehonye and you were subsequently arrested again on 14 December 2020 3. You were granted yet another bail with a number of conditions, one among them being “Not to interfere with any State Witnesses.”
Mafume returned to Town House last week after the lapse of his suspension by local government minister July Moyo.