Suspended Harare mayor Jacob Mafume has been suspended as councillor too, without pay, for gross misconduct and wilful violation of the law after he was arrested for allegedly trying to bribe a key State witness in his trial on corruption related charges last year.
In a letter addressed to Mafume seen by The Herald last night, Local Government and Public Works Minister July Moyo said: “In terms of Section 114(2) and Section 114(1)(c) and (e) of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15) as amended by the Local Government Laws Amendment Act number 8 of 2016, I hereby suspend you, Councillor Jacob Mafume with immediate effect from the office of councillor for Ward 17 Mount Pleasant, Harare City Council.
“You were granted bail on the 8th of December 2020 with a number of conditions, one of which being not to interfere with any State witnesses. It is alleged that contrary to the bail conditions set by the High Court, particularly the condition which states that you are not to interfere with any State witnesses, you proceeded to contact witnesses and arrange to meet them, being fully aware of them being state witnesses.
“You were arrested on the 14th of December 2020 whilst you were in discussion with a key witness Edgar Dzehonye, contrary to the bail condition that stipulates that you not interfere with State witnesses.
“The above allegations give reasonable grounds to suspend you for gross misconduct and wilful violation of the law in terms of 114 (2) of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15] as amended by the Local Government Laws Amendment Act Number 8 of 2016 and as more fully appears in all above paragraphs and reference documents.”
Minister Moyo said Mafume is required to respond to the allegations within seven days of receiving the suspension notice.
During the suspension period, Mafume is barred from conducting any business for or on behalf of council, within or outside council premises.
Efforts to contact Mafume last night were fruitless as his mobile phone went unanswered.