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Muguti Faces Jail Over Contempt Of Court

Harare’s secretary for Provincial Affairs and Devolution Tafadzwa Muguti is facing a three-year jail term for defying a High Court order barring him from demolishing people’s properties in Chitungwiza.

This follows a recent chamber application for contempt of court under case number 393/22 by Chitungwiza Residents Trust and it’s director Alice Kuveya in which Muguti and Chitungwiza Town Clerk, Evangelista Machona are third and fourth respondents, respectively.

The due are charged with for defying a court order issued by the High Court on June 10 2021 by Justice Edith Mushore which prohibited the demolition of all informal traders’ structures in Harare and Chitungwiza.

The order stated that demolitions were not in compliance with the law, in particular section 32 of the Regional, Town and Country Planning Act (Chapter 29:12), and section 3 of the Administrative Justice Act.

“The court ordered that all demolitions be stayed pending determinations of their legality. However, that order was completely disregarded by the respondents who have commenced demolitions of informal traders’ structures in Harare and Chitungwiza,” Kuveya stated in the application.

“I made enquiries with Chitungwiza Municipality as to why the demolitions were being carried out in defiance of a court order that I had obtained, and I was advised that there was no council resolution to proceed with these current demolitions, but Machona and Muguti were acting unilaterally.

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“I attach hereto a January article by the Newsday in which Machona confirmed her hand in the demolitions and warned that they would continue. After the interim order granted by this court, Muguti also made utterances in which he openly denigrated the order and also foretold that the demolitions would continue in the face of that order.”

The court ruling states that: “The third and fourth respondents shall serve alternate three-month jail terms for contempt of this honourable court until such time as they purge their contempt and comply with orders of this court under HC2857/21.

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