THE battle for the control of Harare City Council is raging with suspended mayor Jacob Mafume yesterday saying he was now back in office alongside acting mayor Stewart Mutizwa.
Mafume yesterday said acting town clerk Mabhena Moyo should ensure that all correspondences are directed to him.
Mafume said since his suspension by then acting Local Government minister Jenfan Muswere last year had lapsed, he was now back at work as city mayor.
However, Moyo yesterday said the letter by Mafume’s lawyers should be directed to Local Government minister July Moyo as it was the ministry that suspended him.
“They are continuing with the town clerk reporting to the wrong mayor despite my legal team writing to them,” Mafume told NewsDay yesterday.
“Their actions are tainted in illegality because my suspension expired and I have since written to them, but they have simply ignored the law.”
Mafume was suspended in December last year after he was arrested over a housing stands scam.
He was not put through a disciplinary process within the mandatory 45 days following his suspension.
“The implications are that they are tainting all the actions they are doing with illegality. There is no reason why they are not reporting, yet it is automatic,” Mafume said.
“On his (Mabhena) part, they say they are consulting the minister, but this has nothing to do with the minister. It is automatic when a suspension ends, it is just that.”
He added: “He is sending my drivers, my correspondence and everything to the wrong place and the wrong mayor. I have been waiting for that at my designated address.
“There is simply some intransigence of some sort, driven by what, I don’t know and to what end?”
In response, Mabhena said: “This letter should have been addressed to the minister because he is the one who suspended him.”
Harare is currently in a crisis where it is operating with only one substantive director, Prosper Chonzi (health) after several others were suspended and are facing criminal charges at the courts.
Herbert Gomba was elected mayor in 2018, but was recalled by the MDC-T and is also facing criminal charges at the court.
He was succeeded by Mafume before his suspension. Luckson Mukunguma took over as acting mayor and was also suspended.