By Nyore Madzianike
Suspended Harare mayor Jacob Mafume, remanded in custody for abuse of office, obstruction of justice and corruption charges, can now be attended to by a medical doctor of his choice, the court ruled yesterday.
Harare provincial magistrate Mrs Vongai Guwuriro allowed Mafume to be attended to by his doctor in custody although his lawyer Mr Tendai Biti had applied to have him released instead.
On Thursday, Mr Biti told court that Mafume had received treatment at Harare Remand Prison Clinic, but his condition has continued deteriorate. Mr Biti argued that Harare Central Remand Prison was overcrowded, and there was no adherence to Covid-19 regulations such as social distancing, use of sanitisers and wearing of masks.
He asked the court to conduct an inspection in loco to have an appreciation of the conditions.
“The accused is not well and displaying symptoms related to coronavirus which are fever, weakness in his joints and headache. He has been attended to at the clinic at Harare Remand (but) there are no drugs and decent medication. It is in the best interest that accused be subjected to, not only coronavirus, but other medical checks by a practitioner of his choice, Dr Francis Lovemore.
“He is in D Class, which is an open cell where there are 64 inmates in that cell. There is no social distancing, no masks, no sanitisers, no gloves and he was sleeping on the floor on extremely crowded conditions,” he said.
Mr Charles Muchemwa for the State did not object to Mafume being medically examined, saying the health of an individual was of paramount importance.
Mafume is facing two sets of charges. The first, for which he has been admitted to bail, concern the alleged allocation of council stands in Westlea to his sister and a secretary at his law firm, although neither was on the waiting list, and the second relates to allegations that he in defiance of his bail conditions attempted to get a testify in his favour.
Mafume is expected to be back in court on January 12 when the State is expected to apply to revoke his bail on the land allocation charges. The Herald