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Mafume self isolates as three cell-mates succumb to Covid-19

By Nyashadzashe Ndoro  | Nehanda Courts |

Suspended Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume failed to come to court Monday because he was self isolating following information that three inmates he shared a cell with succumbed to Covid-19.

Suspended Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume
Suspended Harare Mayor Jacob Mafume

Mafume’s lawyer, Tendai Biti confirmed his client was in quarantine after the prosecutors in his criminal abuse of office case intended to apply for revocation of his bail.

“The doctor has ordered that the accused be placed in quarantine consistent with Covid-19 regulations. The accused was exposed to persons with Covid-19 in Remand Prison,” said Biti.

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“Three people he was sharing a cell with succumbed to Covid-19.”

Prosecutor Charles Muchemwa did not oppose the application and requested that Mafume be brought to court on February 23.

Last week, High Court Judge Justice Benjamin Chikowero granted $30 000 bail to Mafume who is facing allegations of criminal abuse of office involving illegal parcelling of residential stands.

Mafume is alleged to have unlawfully allocated residential stands to his sister and secretary under unclear circumstances.

“On a date to the prosecutor unknown, but in the period between 1 March 2020 and 31 March 2020 the accused approached or called Addmore Nhekairo (Housing Director) in Harare and asked him to allocate residential stand to (a) Rotina Mafume whom he alleged to be his sister and (b) Rutendo Muvuti whom he alleged to be his work colleague at Mafume Law Chambers.

“The accused person told Addmore Nhekairo that his sister had not benefited from any Council stand and that this time she was to benefit from the Westlea project,” read part of the charge sheet.

The main opposition MDC Alliance official had already spent 13 days in custody.

As of Tuesday morning Zimbabwe recorded its highest death toll from Covid-19 since March last year with 60 people succumbing to the virus in the last 24 hours.

Harare had the highest number with 36 deaths followed by Manicaland with 10, Midlands with five, Masvingo three, Mashonaland Central and Matabeleland North recorded two deaths each.

Bulawayo and Mashonaland West had one death each, while Mashonaland East and Matabeleland South recorded no deaths. A total of 689 new Covid-19 positive cases were recorded in the last 24 hours.

Meanwhile, as Covid-19 is ravaging prison cells, main opposition MDC Alliance Vice Chairman Job Sikhala and journalist Hopewell Chin’ono are locked up there over trumped up charges of allegations communicating falsehoods.

They have since been denied bail by the Magistrate’s court, awaiting to apply at the High Court.

A student and opposition official, Alan Moyo is also locked up (over 44 days) at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison over incitement charges. Nehanda Radio