High Court Quashes Harare Mayor Mafume Dismissal

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By Bulawayo Correspondent

HIGH Court judge Justice Lucy Mungwari has ordered the reversal of opposition People’s Democratic Party (PDP)’s decision to recall Harare mayor Jacob Mafume and Bulawayo Ward 24 councillor Batirai Dube describing the move as illegal.

The minister of Local Government and Public Works, July Moyo, two weeks ago wrote to Harare town clerks advising them that he had received a letter from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) recalling the two councillors.

“I wish to inform you that I am in receipt of a letter from the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) stating that the following councillor has ceased to be a member of the party through automatic termination of their membership as they have since joined Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC). In terms of Section 278 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, as read with Section (1) (K), ward 24 is now vacant in terms of Section 121 of the Electoral Act. Please proceed to inform the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission of this vacancy,” Moyo wrote.

Following the recall, the two Mafume and Dube, took Moyo to court challenging the decision.

They argued that Moyo erred in acting on the strength of a letter written by one Benjaman Rukanda misrepresented that he was the PDP party secretary general.

Justice Mungwari ordered as per the application.

Their lawyer Tonderai Bhatasara of Mupanga Bhatasara said the court agreed with their submissions that the letter written by Rukanda to the minister is invalid and of no consequence because it was written contrary to any existing court order, and was written by a person who is not authorised .

“In terms of the existing court order, it declares Settleman Chikwinya as Secretary- General of the PDP party and the only person who is authorised to communicate regarding the internal affairs of that party, and the fact that  Rukanda wrote this letter to the minister is of no consequence, so, in the meantime, the status quo remains until the actual provisional court order is confirmed,” Bhatasara said.