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Zimbabwe Mayor Manyenyeni Caught in Vicious Cycle of Arrests

  • Thomas Chiripasi

An official of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni talking to a local resident. (Photo: Irwin Chifera)

An official of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni talking to a local resident. (Photo: Irwin Chifera)

Suspended Harare mayor Bernard Manyenyeni has been questioned by the Anti-Corruption Commission over the appointment of the city’s town clerk, just a few hours after a High Court judge ordered the Minister of Local Government to reinstate him.

Some Anti-Corruption Commission officials told Studio 7 on condition of anonymity that they wanted to question Manyenyeni on the Harare City Council’s appointment of James Mushore as the city’s town clerk.

Manyenyeni was initially suspended by Kasukuwere for allegedly disregarding the minister’s call to reverse Mushore’s appointment.

His lawyer, Lovemore Madhuku said the Commission used the police to detain Manyenyeni.

Before being questioned by the Commission, a Harare High Court judge, Lavender Makoni, ordered his reinstatement and further interdicted the local government minister from suspending him.

Acting Local Government Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo had also suspended the mayor on allegations of criminal abuse of office. Manyenyeni approached the court arguing that Moyo did not comply with provisions of the Urban Councils Act in suspending him.

Manyenyeni’s lawyer, Lovemore Madhuku, confirmed the court’s decision, saying the court further interdicted Local Government Minister Saviour Kasukuwere from further suspending the city mayor pending the outcome of a case that he lodged with the Constitutional Court.

Manyenyeni told Studio 7 that he was welcoming the court’s verdict.

Board chairperson of the Combined Harare Residents Association, Simbarashe Moyo, said local residents are happy about the High Court ruling, adding that this would give Manyenyeni time to address issues affecting local people.

In other court news, the Constitutional Court postponed judgement in a case in which some churches are challenging the decision by education ministry to introduce the national pledge in schools saying it violates their right to freedom of worship.

Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku ordered the parties to return to court’s registrar after 30 days to allow negotiations between the churches and the government.

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