Harare mayor Jacob Mafume (MDC Alliance) has been suspended as councillor, without pay, by Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo.
Moyo cited gross misconduct and willful violation of the law as reasons for the latest suspension. In a letter addressed to Mafume seen by The Herald last night, Moyo said:
In terms of Section 114(2) and Section 114(1)(c) and (e) of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15) as amended by the Local Government Laws Amendment Act number 8 of 2016, I hereby suspend you, Councillor Jacob Mafume with immediate effect from the office of councillor for Ward 17 Mount Pleasant, Harare City Council.
You were granted bail on the 8th of December 2020 with a number of conditions, one of which being not to interfere with any State witnesses.
It is alleged that contrary to the bail conditions set by the High Court, particularly the condition which states that you are not to interfere with any State witnesses, you proceeded to contact witnesses and arrange to meet them, being fully aware of them being state witnesses.
You were arrested on the 14th of December 2020 whilst you were in discussion with a key witness Edgar Dzehonye, contrary to the bail condition that stipulates that you not interfere with State witnesses.
The above allegations give reasonable grounds to suspend you for gross misconduct and willful violation of the law in terms of 114 (2) of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15] as amended by the Local Government Laws Amendment Act Number 8 of 2016 and as more fully appears in all above paragraphs and reference documents.
Moyo said Mafume is required to respond to the allegations within seven days of receiving the suspension notice.
During the suspension period, Mafume is barred from conducting any business for or on behalf of the council, within or outside council premises.
Mafume was suspended in December last year following his arrest on criminal abuse of office allegations relating to improper allocation of residential stands, charges that he denies.
He returned to work saying his suspension had ended. However, sources at Town House told a local daily that MDC-T’s Stewart Mutizwa who had been acting mayor was the preferred choice of government officials and that it was only a matter of time before Mafume was “dealt with”.