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CCC councillors defy ban, interfere with witnesses

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CCC councillors defy ban, interfere with witnesses

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CCC councillors, including Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume, with pending court cases, are allegedly interfering with witnesses as they are conducting their duties as normal at Town House.

Despite a Government directive banning most of the CCC councillors from work, they are still reporting for duty.

Among the rogue councillors who have been reporting for duty are Messrs Mafume, Hammy Madzingira, Costa Mande, Lovemore Makuwerere and Tonderai Chakaredza.

As of yesterday, Mafume was chairing a special council meeting meant to reverse deals that were legally approved by fellow councillors during his suspension days, including the Pomona deal which has national status.

In 2020, Mafume was arrested on allegations of trying to bribe a potential key State witness in his trial on corruption-related charges, barely six days after being granted bail by the High Court and a few hours after sailing through a routine remand.

In a recent statement, Permanent Secretary for Local Government and Public Works Mr Zvinechimwe Churu barred from work councillors and officials under investigation for corruption-related cases involving land.

Mr Churu said the Ministry was concerned that councillors and senior managers at local authorities who are under investigation are allowed to return to work when they get bail.

“The Ministry of Local Government and Public Works has noted with great concern that several councillors and senior management of local authorities across Zimbabwe have appeared before the courts of law for corruption and council land mismanagement crimes,” he said.

Mr Churu said those under investigation can harass witnesses and cover their tracks once they get bail, by passing resolutions.

He said while the court’s bail conditions may not restrict them from going back to work and resuming their normal duties, the conditions indicate that they should not interfere with witnesses, intimidate workers, suspend witnesses or potential witnesses.

Therefore, their going back to work to resume normal duties would generally infringe the bail conditions.

“The ministry has further noted a growing trend across local authorities that councillors are passing resolutions and making structural changes that would ultimately influence ongoing investigations in favour of those facing criminal charges,” said Mr Churu.

He said anyone who interferes with ongoing investigations will face the full wrath of the law.

“The Ministry of Local Government and Public Works therefore appeals to all local authorities to exercise good corporate governance and ethical conduct by not reinstating individuals who are in the midst of on-going investigations and criminal cases,” said Mr Churu.

Other councillors with pending criminal cases are Herbert Gomba, Anthony Shingadeya and Luckson Mukunguma. Herald.

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