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Suspended mayor wants charges dropped

by Staff reporter
23 Feb 2022 at 06:27hrs | Views
SUSPENDED Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume yesterday applied for the dropping of charges in which he allegedly ordered the city council director of Housing and Community Services to allocate residential stands to his sister and law firm's secretary in March 2020, saying the amended charges do not also disclose any wrong doing on his part as a public officer.

Mafume, through his lawyer Mr Tonderai Bhatasara, had lost his initial bid to have the charges quashed after the court ordered the State to amend the charges.

He is being charged with criminal abuse of duty as a public officer with the State, in its amended charges, saying Mafume was seized with duties of heading development in Ward 17 Mt Pleasant, exercising executive duties of City of Harare employees and making policies for the smooth running of City of Harare.

Mafume, in his application, argued that when he allegedly ordered housing director Addmore Nhekairo that this was contrary to or inconsistent with any of his identified duties as a public officer.

"Additionally, there is no allegation that when accused purportedly ordered Nhekairo or allegedly visited one Edgar Dzehonye, that was an omission of his duty as identified in the charge sheet.

"The State is not permitted to allege in the negative or suggest that since accused has no duty to allocate land, but he allegedly did, then he abused his duty. If it is not accused's duty to allocate stand or land then it follows that in terms of the law, he cannot breach it.

"The purported duties that the State mentioned in the charge sheet have nothing to do with the alleged offence," he said.

Mafume further argued that the duties specified by the State are not linked to the offence he is facing.

He said that he was not employed by City of Harare and does not exercise executive duties.

"Accused while he is a public officer is not employed by Harare City Council and as such does not exercise executive duties as alleged in the charge sheet.

"The amended charge has specified what the State is calling the duties of accused as heading development in Ward 17 Mount Pleasant, Harare, exercising executive duties of City of Harare employees and making policies for the smooth running of City of Harare.

"There is no rational connection between accused's duty of heading development in his Ward 17 Mt Pleasant and the offence or what is alleged in the charge sheet.

"What has the activities and duties of accused in his ward got to do with the charges is the critical question.

"Evidently, accused is not an employee of council and as such has no executive duties that he performs," he said.

The State led by Mr Ephraim Zinyandu is expected to respond to Mafume's application before they return to court on March 1.

Regional magistrate Mrs Vongai Guwuriro presided.

Source - The Herald
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