Wednesday, 29 June 2016

D DAY FOR SUSPENDED HARARE MAYOR

HIGH Court judge Justice Lavender Makoni is today expected to hand down judgment on an urgent chamber application filed by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) seeking an order to stop Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere from suspending, dismissing or removing Councillor Bernard Manyenyeni from serving as mayor of Harare.

Justice Makoni on June 17 reserved judgment after hearing arguments from lawyers representing Clr Manyenyeni and Cde Kasukuwere.

ZLHR lawyers Professor Lovemore Madhuku, Dzimbabwe Chimbga, Bellinda Chinowawa and David Hofisi who filed the urgent chamber application on June 10, argued that Cde Kasukuwere was not permitted by Section 114 of the Urban Councils Act, as read with Section 278 of the Constitution, to re-suspend a mayor whose suspension has lapsed by operation of law.

In the urgent chamber application, Madhuku, Chimbga, Chinowawa and Hofisi argued that Cde Kasukuwere could not split facts and suspend Clr Manyenyeni in installments as doing so amounts to abuse of process.

The lawyers argued that in suspending Clr Manyenyeni, Cde Kasukuwere has exercised powers that are non-existent and that are not in accordance with the Constitution.
Madhuku, Chimbga, Chinowawa and Hofisi want the High Court to issue an order setting aside the letter suspending Clr Manyenyeni and for him to be allowed to continue to carry out council business and receive his allowances.

Cde Kasukuwere first suspended Clr Manyenyeni from serving as mayor of the City of Harare on April 20 this year, after accusing him of acting unlawfully and defying his directive by ordering Harare City Council councillors not to approve the appointment of seasoned banker James Mushore to the position of Town Clerk.

Clr Manyenyeni only resumed duty on June 6 as Cde Kasukuwere failed to cause a thorough investigation to be conducted within 45 days as envisaged by Section 114 of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15) as had been ordered by High Court judge Justice Mary-Zimba Dube, when the lawyers first challenged the suspension of Clr Manyanyeni in April.

But on June 7, Cde Kasukuwere issued Clr Manyenyeni with a fresh letter of suspension, citing some grounds of misconduct purportedly committed in 2015. herald

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