Justice Makoni on Friday 17 June 2017 reserved judgment after hearing arguments from lawyers representing Councillor Manyenyeni and Hon. Kasukuwere.
ZLHR lawyers Professor Lovemore Madhuku, Dzimbabwe Chimbga, Bellinda Chinowawa and David Hofisi who filed the urgent chamber application on Friday 10 June 2016, argued that Hon. Kasukuwere is not permitted by Section 114 of the Urban Councils Act, as read with Section 278 of the Constitution, to re-suspend a Mayor whose suspension has lapsed by operation of law, in circumstances where the grounds for the re-suspension are based on facts which were known to the Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister at the time of the first suspension.
Hon. Kasukuwere first suspended Councillor Manyenyeni from serving as Mayor of the City of Harare on Wednesday 20 April 2016 after accusing him of acting unlawfully and defying his directive by ordering Harare City Council councilors not to approve the appointment of seasoned banker James Mushore to the position of Town Clerk for the City of Harare.
Councillor Manyenyeni only resumed duty on 06 June 2016 as Hon. Kasukuwere failed to cause a thorough investigation to be conducted within 45 days as envisaged by Section 114 of the Urban Councils Act (Chapter 29:15) as had been ordered by High Court Judge Justice Mary-Zimba Dube, when ZLHR first challenged the suspension of the Mayor of the City of Harare in April. But on 07 June 2016, Hon. Kasukuwere issued Councillor Manyenyeni with a fresh letter of suspension, citing some grounds of misconduct purportedly committed in 2015.
In the urgent chamber application, Madhuku, Chimbga, Chinowawa and Hofisi argued that Hon. Kasukuwere could not split facts and suspend Councillor Manyenyeni in installments as doing so amounts to abuse of process. The human rights lawyers charged that in suspending Councillor Manyenyeni, the Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister had exercised powers that are non-existent and that are not in accordance with the Constitution.
Madhuku, Chimbga, Chinowawa and Hofisi want the High Court to issue an order setting aside the letter of re-suspension of Councillor Manyenyeni and for him to be allowed to continue to carry out council business and receive his allowances in line with his post of Mayor