Harare magistrate Ngoni Nduna has slapped Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume with an imprisonment stay after dismissing his bail bid on the grounds that no other condition would deter him from interfering with state witnesses.
Mafume was arrested early this week and charged with contempt of court following his arrest while meeting one of the state witnesses Edgar Dzehonye in Harare.
“Imprisonment is the only remedy available, accordingly, the court denied the accused bail. The call to meet with Edgar Dzehonye shows of an intention and effort to interfere with a witness if the matter is taken for trial. Accused is properly placed on remand, the State failed to show evidence or the basis for the court to give it’s fears of abscondment credibility,” said magistrate Nduna.
Nduna added that the court was worried by the breach of bail conditions after Mafume was arrested at a place where Dzehonye, a witness in his case before the courts was.
“Their meeting with Dzehonye shows that they were discussing issues to do with the matter before the court though it is disputed whether Mafume was actually in the car or not. On a balance of probabilities, the facts of the case favour the State. Why did accused as a lawyer fail to call his clients (Gertrude Dumba) to his office?” he added.
The Harare city Mayor is currently on bail in a case in which he is accused of parceling out a residential stand to his sister without following due procedure.
Mafume was however remanded to 28 January.