BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Harare mayor Jacob Mafume says he is back in office after the authorities failed to take him to a disciplinary hearing within 45 days following his suspension as stipulated by the law.
Mafume was suspended by then Local Government acting minister Jenfan Muswere early this year following his arrest at the end of 2020 on allegations of criminal abuse of office.
The MDC Alliance councillor, through his lawyer Tonderai Bhatasara, wrote to Harare town clerk, acting mayor Stewart Mutizwa and Local Government minister July Moyo informing them that he was back in office.
“We write to advise that our client’s suspension by the minister, through a letter dated January 22, 2021 has lapsed following the expiry of the statutory 45th day,” read part of the letter dated June 16.
“Accordingly, by operation of law, our client has reverted to the status before his suspension, as the mayor of the City of Harare.”
Mafume’s lawyer argued that since he was yet to face any disciplinary hearing, he could not remain suspended outside the provisions of the law.
“Our client has written this letter to advise that communication and notices of meetings be brought to his attention as is required by law,” Bhatasara added.
Mafume threatened legal action in the event that he was barred from resuming his duties.
“Please be advised that the swiftness in action when the suspension was implemented is also what our client expects when the suspension lapsed,” the lawyer added.
“Any delay in effecting this position will lead to the obvious legal consequences.”
Harare provincial development co-ordinator, Tafadzwa Muguti said he was yet to see any communication from Mafume’s lawyers.
“The suspension of the mayor is done by the minister and I only get the final position,” Muguti said. “I have not received anything.
“I will share once that happens.”