By Costa Nkomo
MDC Alliance deputy president Tendai Biti has lashed out at the Zanu PF-led government for allegedly victimising Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume through arrests and lengthy detentions saying the ward 17 councillor was being punished for exposing the capture of local authorities by the ruling party.
Biti also directed his anger at erstwhile allies in the opposition MDC-T’s interim leader Thokozani Khupe and secretary general Douglas Mwonzora for alleged complicity in dismantling MDC Alliance dominated local authorities.
He is demanding the release of the tormented city father.
“The mayor of Harare Jacob Mafume is a humble intelligent, jovial, decent comrade.
“Zanu PF has targeted him for exposing its capture of local authorities.
“The Mwonzora and Khupe cabal has been complicit in this agenda. For Christ’s sake, release him now,” Biti wrote on Twitter Saturday.
Mafume was arrested in November to be charged with unlawful parcelling of residential stands to his relatives sometime in March this year.
He was however granted bail by the High Court on December 8 before being re-arrested barely a week later.
Mafume is facing fresh charges of attempting to bribe a state witness in his corruption case.
He spent Christmas at the Harare Remand Prison with his fresh bail hearing set for this Monday 28 at the High Court.
Before the watershed March Supreme Court ruling which placed the MDC empire in the hands of the Khupe led MDC-T, Nelson Chamisa’s MDC Alliance was in charge of 32 local authorities.
But armed with the court ruling, Khupe effected recalls on councillors who refused to recognise her leadership after the court judgement.
As a result, the MDC Alliance’s urban council domination has shrunk.
MDC-T has recalled mayors and councillors from places such as Harare, Gwanda, Beitbridge, Marondera, Bulawayo and Victoria Falls.