Mafume bounces back as Govt barred from suspending  him 

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By Mary Taruvinga, Senior Reporter

HIGH Court judge, Justice Joseph Mafusire, has reinstated Jacob Mafume as the Mayor of Harare after setting aside a letter by the local government minister, July Moyo, suspending him for the fourth time.

This follows a successful appeal filed by Mafume through his lawyer, Tonderai Bhatasara.

The judge issued an order Tuesday morning, ordering the minister not to use the same reasons to dismiss Mafume ever again.

Moyo was also slapped with costs.

“The decision of the respondent (Moyo) to suspend Mafume through a letter dated December 17  2021 is a nullity and is hereby set aside.

“The respondent shall not suspend Mafume on the same or similar allegations as the ones in his letters of suspension dated December 23 2020, 22 January, September 2021 and December 2021,” ruled the judge.

A full judgement was not readily available.

In suspending Mafume, Moyo would notify Harare City Council the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) had notified him of his suspension.

PDP seconded Mafume to council under the MDC Alliance pact in 2018.

In one of the letters, the minister told the Town Clerks to inform the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) of the vacancy in terms of Section 121 of the Electoral Act.

“In terms of Section 278 (i) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, as read with Section (l)(k), the wards the three represented were now vacant because the three had joined Citizens’ Coalition for Change CCC.

Mafume argued that he belonged to PDP led by Tendai Biti and he has not recalled them.

He sought an order declaring the letters, written by Moyo, null and void.

The mayor also filed other court applications together with his colleagues who also met the same fate.

They also sought an order on costs on a punitive scale.

Others who were recalled include Kycaca Ivumile Phulu, Settlement Chikwinya, Dube,  Simon Chabuka, Willias Madzimure, Regai Tsunga and Chelesile  Mahlangu.

The matter was once disposed of by the High Court on April 14 2021.

The High Court ruled that only authorised representatives of  the PDP led by Tendai Biti, in particular  Chikwinya as the SG, has the power to act on behalf of PDP.

It was ruled that only Chikwinya could author official communication on matters to do with the party after being authorised by Biti.

Mafume said in this regard, Moyo and those who communicated with him “are violating our choice by seeking to ascribe us membership of a political party that is alien to us and is certainly not not the PDP led by Biti and Chikwinya that we have always been members of since 2017.”

Mafume said Moyo’s actions were unlawful and in conflict with an extant order of the High Court.

The embattled councilor also said any communication given to Moyo that his post was vacant is null and void  because it was issued by PDP.