Senior Court Reporter
Harare mayor Jacob Mafume will know today whether he will be granted bail or not while he awaits trial on charges of criminal abuse of office over the alleged illegal allocation of two stands to his sister and his secretary at his law firm.
In the bail hearing before deputy chief magistrate Mrs Bianca Makwande, the State led by Mr Panganayi Chiutsi opposed bail on the basis that Mafume was likely to interfere with witnesses, who are city council employees.
Mr Chiutsi also argued that Mafume was a flight risk.
Mafume, represented by Mr Tonderai Batasara in his bail application, told the court that he had no access to the witnesses as most of them were suspended. In addition, the witnesses do not report to him, ruling out the probability of him interfering with investigations.
It is alleged that in March this year, Mafume allegedly called Housing Director Admore Nhekairo and asked him to allocate residential stands to his sister Rotina Mafume and to Rutendo Muvuti, a secretary at his law firm.
Mafume is alleged to have told Nhekairo that his sister deserved to get the stands since she had not benefited from any council stand.
The court heard that when Mafume approached Nhekairo, council had already concluded interviews for prospecting home seekers. Further allegations are that Mafume used his influence as a councillor to push other council employees to process the allocation of the stands.
According to State, it was later discovered that Rotina and Muvuti were not on the waiting list despite each having been allocated stands with intrinsic value of $219 938.
It was alleged that the numbers given to them on the waiting list belonged to other people.