Mayor Manyenyeni reinstated, arrested

HARARE - The government appears determined to deal ruthlessly with Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni, after he was detained at Avondale Police Station yesterday, after being picked up by members of the Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission (ZACC) immediately after the courts had ordered his reinstatement to his position.

High Court judge Lavender Makoni not only reinstated Manyenyeni following the mayor’s application in which he challenged Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere’s hotly-contested decision to suspend him — he also ordered Kasukuwere to pay the costs of the suit and interdicted the minister from suspending Manyenyeni again.

Manyenyeni was suspended for the second time earlier this month, prompting the under siege mayor to file the urgent chamber application.

“The judge has granted our appeal, which is effectively to set aside the second suspension of the mayor and to permit the mayor to go back to work.

“She (Makoni) has also interdicted the minister from suspending the mayor until the Supreme Court has determined an earlier appeal challenging the powers of the minister to suspend him in view of the new Constitution,” Manyenyeni’s lawyer Lovemore Madhuku told journalists soon after the ruling was handed down yesterday.

However, Manyenyeni’s joy was to be short-lived. ZACC members immediately picked him up for questioning soon after the court hearing, in what opposition parties described as “a highly suspicious” development.

He will appear in the Harare Magistrates Court today at 9am, charged with alleged criminal abuse of duty.

After his first suspension, Manyenyeni’s matter, according to the law, was supposed to be heard within 45 days. However, Kasukuwere failed to set up the requisite independent tribunal board, leading to Manyenyeni to resume his duties.

However, the Harare mayor was suspended yet again and within 24 hours of resuming his duties.

In his latest High Court application in which he cited Kasukuwere and Attorney General Prince Machaya as respondents, Manyenyeni argued that his second suspension was “unlawful, void and of no force or effect”.

He further argued that Kasukuwere was not permitted by Section 114 of the Urban Councils Act, as read with Section 278 of the new Constitution, to re-suspend a mayor whose suspension had lapsed by operation of law, in circumstances where the grounds for the re-suspension were based on facts which were known to the Local Government minister at the time of the first suspension.

“There is no scope under Section 114 (1) of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15) for a second suspension, whether on the same or different grounds, if the allegations founding the previous suspension were never determined by the independent tribunal contemplated under Section 278 of the Constitution,” Manyenyeni said.

Kasukuwere first suspended Manyenyeni from serving as mayor on April 20 after accusing him of appointing James Mushore as Harare town clerk without approval from the Local Government Board.

Then Manyenyeni resumed duty on June 6, after Kasukuwere failed to cause a thorough investigation to be conducted within 45 days as envisaged under the law, and as had been ordered by High Court judge Justice Mary-Zimba Dube.

But on June 7, Kasukuwere issued Manyenyeni with a fresh letter of suspension, citing a new battery of misconduct charges that were allegedly committed in 2015.

In the urgent chamber application, Madhuku — working with Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) legal brains Dzimbabwe Chimbga, Bellinda Chinowawa and David Hofisi — argued that Kasukuwere could not split facts and suspend Manyenyeni in installments, as doing so amounts to abuse of process.

They also charged that in suspending Manyenyeni, the Local Government minister had exercised powers right were “non-existent” and that were not in accordance with the country’s constitution.

Comments (5)

Hey!!!Ma 1 chaiwo.

Zvakaoma - 30 June 2016

I heard Kasukuwere ia studying law at UZ, I really doubt if he is going to pass even a simple assignment. Here is a dunderhead of the highest order. Dr Madhuku is an expert in constitutional law I really respect him very much. My point is Kasukuwere being a student of law cannot challenge court rules and people of Dr Madhuku's calibre.

Gandanga - 30 June 2016

I heard Kasukuwere ia studying law at UZ, I really doubt if he is going to pass even a simple assignment. Here is a dunderhead of the highest order. Dr Madhuku is an expert in constitutional law I really respect him very much. My point is Kasukuwere being a student of law cannot challenge court rules and people of Dr Madhuku's calibre.

Gandanga - 30 June 2016

When are the cops picking up Chombo, Kasquerry and Obedient son?

Galore - 30 June 2016

This is jungle law at its best. This government is rotten to the core. Harassing an innocent man while letting the land looters free. Ibvai mhani

Tekere - 30 June 2016

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