Harare mayor further detained

HARARE - Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni was further detained at Avondale Police Station yesterday after his initial court appearance on alleged criminal abuse of office charges was delayed.

The State said it was preparing more charges against him.

This was said by his lawyer Lovemore Madhuku.

Madhuku advised the State to take heed of the provision of the constitution which safeguards pre-trial detainees from being detained for more than 48 hours.

“The 48 hour period is ending around 11 am tomorrow (today) and it is in the State’s interest that they utilise that period because we don’t want a situation where my client is arrested, comes to court, released and rearrested,” Madhuku said.

“…because as the mayor of Harare, he has duties to execute. I am informed that the charges relate to the appointment of the town clerk, the companies that were short listed, psychometric tests…”

Manyenyeni was picked up by members of the Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission (Zacc) soon after the High Court ordered his reinstatement on Wednesday.

That was after High Court judge Lavender Makoni reinstated Manyenyeni following his application in which he challenged Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere’s decision to suspend him.

Justice Makoni ordered Kasukuwere to pay the costs of the suit and interdicted him from suspending Manyenyeni, who had been allowed to continue with his duties.

In strange and suspicious circumstances, Zacc members picked up Manyenyeni for questioning soon after the court hearing and took him into custody. He was supposed to appear at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts yesterday at 9am.

The MDC strenuously condemned the “unlawful arrest and detention” of the Harare mayor.

“It is patently clear that the unlawful arrest and detention of the Mayor of Harare at Avondale Police Station has been occasioned by the malevolent and grossly malicious machinations of the minister of Local Government, Saviour Kasukuwere,” MDC spokesman Obert Gutu said in a statement.

“Kasukuwere is on a Zanu PF-inspired mission to totally decimate all the MDC-controlled urban local authorities as the bankrupt and clueless Zanu PF regime gears to rig the harmonised elections that are scheduled to be held in 2018.

The fact of the matter is that mayor Manyenyeni has done absolutely nothing wrong and or criminal in the manner in which he has been running the civic affairs of the capital city, Harare. If anything, Kasukuwere is determined to get mayor Manyenyeni out of the way at Town House so that he can continue to unlawfully usurp and interfere with the day to day management of the city’s affairs.”

Gutu said “the MDC shall not rest until all the applicable and relevant political and legal pressure is brought to bear upon Kasukuwere to make sure that Manyenyeni and indeed, all MDC councillors throughout Zimbabwe, do not continue to be harassed and disturbed in the lawful discharge of their duties.”

Manyenyeni was suspended for the second time early last month, prompting him to file the urgent chamber application.

This also comes after the High Court initially gave an order, ruling that in terms of the law, the minister was only empowered to suspend a mayor, but can only remove him from office through an independent tribunal.

The basis of his suspension is that he employed banker James Mushore as the town clerk without getting approval from the Local Government Board.

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

“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 argued.

Comments (2)

All these will blow away in the fullness of time,which i believe is just around the corner.Hakuna chisingapere,but kupera kweZhanu pf kuchanzwisa urombo,nekuti zvavaita zvakaipa zvakawandisa sezva diabhorosi.God is a fair God,and believe you me all you zanu pf cowards , you will have nowhere to run or hide.Winds of change are blowing at avery fast rate.

Janana wa Bikaz - 1 July 2016

For the good of the country, the people of Zimbabwe I pray that His Excellency creates two ambassadorial sinecures for Honourable Kasukuwere who appears to be intellectually challenged, arrogant and outright idiotic and also for his beloved nephew the impressionable immature Zhuwawo. These two people are not good for the country and can hardly be regarded as assets for ZanuPf in these trying times.

Tekere - 1 July 2016

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