Zimbabwe: MDC Turns Town House Into a Circus

Municipal Reporter

MDC-Alliance has thrown Harare City Council into a circus after the party's suspended Mayor Mr Jacob Mafume bounced back at the town-house, clashing with the acting mayor Musarurwa Mutizwa who insists he is still in charge.

Through his lawyers, Mupanga Bhatasara Attorneys, Mr Mafume in a letter dated June 7, 2021, which is addressed to the office of Harare town clerk and copied to Cllr Mutizwa, Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo and Permanent Secretary, said he was now in charge of the city.

"We write advising that our client's suspension by the Honourable Minister through a letter dated January 22, 2021 has lapsed following the expiring of the statutory 45 days.

"Accordingly, by operation of law, our client has reverted to the status before his suspension, as the Mayor of Harare. Our client has written the letter to advise that communications and notices of meetings be brought to his attention as is required by the law," reads the letter.

According to the letter, any delay in bringing Mafume back will lead to legal consequences.

"We therefore ask your office to facilitate that our client be accorded all the rights and responsibilities due to his office within 48 hours of your receipt of this letter," the letter reads.

Mafume was arrested for criminal abuse of office involving illegal parcelling of residential stands before being suspended together with his deputy Luckson Mukunguma and four other councillors by Minister Moyo pending the outcome of their criminal trials.

The charges still stand.

Contacted for comment Mafume said by operation of law he reverted to his position at the expiry of his suspension.

"Anyone who is carrying out a decision is doing so without legal authority. As a ceremonial mayor, l depend on the town clerk who is the accounting officer to comply with law.

"He has to deliver notices and correspondence to my given address for me to carry out my duties," he said.

Acting Harare town clerk Engineer Mabhena Moyo yesterday said he is yet to receive the letter from Mr Mafume's lawyers.

Cllr Mutizwa said he was aware of the issue only through social media.

"I am only seeing it and hearing it from social media. I am still the mayor and I am chairing a full council meeting as we speak," he said.

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