HARARE Mayor Jacob Mafume will spend another night in custody after his bail ruling was Wednesday deferred to Thursday morning.
He appeared before Harare magistrate Ngoni Nduna facing a charge of defeating course of justice or alternatively contempt of court.
Prosecutor Constance Ngombengombe said Mafume was caught trying to bribe Harare City Council housing manager Edgar Dzehonye.
Mafume denies the charges and contends he was set up.
The state alleges the mayor intended to give Dzehonye US$1 000 as bribe and was caught while pulling the money out of his pocket while seated in Dzehonye’s car.
However, Mafume’s lawyer Advocate Thabani Mpofu said Mafume was arrested with only US$65 in his pocket.
The investigating officer Superintendent Joseph Sirihwindi said Mafume was not supposed to interfere with the state witness.
“The accused person was seen with one of key witness in a case he is on bail on. He was subsequently arrested while he was seated in the witness’s vehicle,” said Sirihwindi.
“Just three or four days after he was granted bail he was already interfering with witnesses knowing that he was not supposed to do so. We also have evidence that he was persuading Addmore Nhekairo, the city housing director to meet him.”
Sirihwindi said Mafume told him that he had gone to meet Gertrude Dumba not Dzehonye.
The IO said that Dzehonye told him Mafume called on 0772616889 and the line is registered in Gertrude Dumba.
Mpofu said the number reflects the number belongs to Dumba.
The IO said this does not mean Dumba cannot give her line to anyone
However, Mpofu argued that all this showed the state had no evidence linking his client to the offence showing this was a cooked up case.
“The accused says he was called by Gertrude Dumba, went to her car, she was seated in the driver’s seat, no one in the passenger seat, the car has tinted back seat windows. He didn’t see anyone when he got to the car, talks to her while outside the car and at that stage your officers came to him,” Mpofu said.
“And yet upon arrest he had US$65 and not US$1000 he was going to give away,” Mpofu asked.
The I.O said he cannot comment on the issue of money because he was not there when Mafume was arrested.
It is state’s case that on December 13, Mafume called Dzehonye and asked to meet him at Fife Avenue shopping centre at 1 pm.