Latest News Editor's Choice

News / National

Mafume denies being HCC employee

by Staff reporter
05 Jan 2022 at 05:49hrs | Views
SUSPENDED Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume, who is charged with criminal abuse of duty as a public officer, yesterday denied being employed by the Harare City Council although acknowledging that he was a public officer.

Mafume distanced himself from the city council's employment in his application for exception to the charges where he allegedly allocated residential stands to his sister and law firm's secretary in Harare.

In his application prepared by lawyer Mr Tonderai Bhatasara, Mafume also told the court that the allegations raised by the State did not hold an offense since it failed to spell out his duties and responsibilities in the charge sheet.

He also argued that there was no offence called abuse of duty as a public officer.

"Accused whilst he is a public officer, is not employed by Harare City Council as alleged in the charge sheet, but more fatally to the charge is the evident absence of material allegations in that there is no allegation that when accused purportedly ordered (Addmore) Nhekairo to approve the stand allocations, it was in the exercise of his functions as a public officer.

"Put differently, there is no indication of what the duties or functions of the accused were.

"Significantly, there is no allegation that when the accused purportedly ordered Nhekairo, that was contrary to or inconsistent with any identified duties or functions of a councillor or mayor," he said.

Mafume, in his application for exception, said there were no accusations that when he allegedly ordered Nhekairo or visited Edgar Dzehonye, there was an omission of duties he was supposed to execute as a public officer.

He claimed that there was no offence called criminal abuse of office as public officer.

"The statute itself in section 174 has the heading of offence as criminal abuse of duty as public officer. What is abused is the duty of the public officer and not the office," argued Mafume.

He added: "There is no offence called "criminal abuse of office as public officer" as suggested by the State in its charge sheet.

"Thus, without mentioning the specific duties of the accused, there is no offence that can be disclosed as the State is unable to show how accused acted inconsistent with his duties.

"There is also no way evidence can be led to show how accused omitted to act according to his duties when the duties are unknown.

"In other words, a breach of a duty by a public officer presupposes the existence of that duty.

"That averment ought to be made in order for the State to disclose an offence cognisable by the court," he said.

The State led by Mr Ephraim Zinyandu is expected to respond to Mafume's application on Friday with Harare regional magistrate Mrs Vongai Guwuriro expected to make a ruling on January 14.

Source - The Herald