Mafume to spend night in jail over ‘amateurish and ridiculous’ charges
By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Courts |
Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume will spend another night in jail after controversial Magistrate Ngoni Nduna on Wednesday reserved his bail judgment to tomorrow morning.
Mafume was arrested on Monday over spurious allegations that he tried to bribe Special Anti Corruption Unit (SACU) officers working on his abuse of office case.
His arrest came barely six days after High Court Judge Justice Benjamin Chikowero had granted him ZW$30 000 bail over charges of allegations of criminal abuse of office involving illegal parcelling of residential stands.
Through his lawyer Thabani Mpofu, Mafume appeared before Nduna for initial remand.
The State represented by Kudzai Chigwedere alleges Mafume obstructed the course of justice when he was allegedly caught attempting to bribe Edgar Dzehonye with USD$1000, allegations Mafume dismissed arguing that he only had USD$65 in his pockets.
Dzehonye is a witness in Mafume’s abuse of office case. The State also alleges that it was Mafume who called Dzehonye for a meeting in the car.
Mafume denies this, stating that citing he was called by Gertrude Dumba to her car, not knowing that Dzehonye was in the back seat and he was eventually nabbed by the police who told him that he was interfering with the state witness.
While being cross-examined by the State investigating officer in the case, Joseph Sirihwindi laid reasons why he was opposed to granting bail to Mafume.
“He is now facing two charges as such he has high propensity to escape justice
“He is likely to interfere with witnesses since he has already shown the propensity,” he said. The State therefore said these were its compelling reasons for denying Mafume bail.
In his submissions however, Mpofu said the charges against his client were “as amateurish as they are ridiculous.”
He said the number which was cited in the form 242 did not belong to Dzehonye but to Dumda who in Mafume’s case was not a State witness.
“The State must say there are no conditions that can conceivably secure the interest of justice.
“There can be no doubt that this is a bodged trap gone bad
“There are no call records showing calls made by the accused to Dzehonye
“He never called Dzehonye but was called by Dumba the person he knows. A person whom the State has not taken a statement and a person the state accepts he was at the scene.
“The accused got to the car. And when he was talking to Dumba he was not aware that there was a person at the back seat and then he was apprehended.
“The cellphone number involved belongs to Dumba and not Dzehonye. Dzehonye has given a different cell number.
“There are lies your Worship, a tissue of them told about this number,” Mpofu said.
Nduna reserved ruling to Thursday morning in order for him to go through all submissions made.