Kasukuwere’s breach of constitution: ruling reserved

HIGH Court Judge Justice Justice Mary-Zimba Dube on Tuesday 26 April 2016 reserved ruling after presiding over an urgent chamber application filed by Harare Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni seeking an order setting aside his suspension by Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Saviour Kasukuwere.

City of Harare mayor, Bernard Munyenyeni

City of Harare mayor, Bernard Munyenyeni

Justice Dube reserved ruling after hearing arguments from lawyers representing Minister Kasukuwere, who opposed the urgent chamber application and those representing Councillor Manyenyeni namely David Hofisi and Dzimbabwe Chimbga of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), who faulted the Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister for breaching the country’s governance charter by meddling in the management of the local authority.

Minister Kasukuwere on Wednesday 20 April 2016 suspended Councillor Manyenyeni from serving as Mayor of Harare and councillor and justified that he had done so in terms of Section 114 (1) (d) (ii) of the Urban Councils Act [Chapter 29:15]. In suspending Manyenyeni, Minister Kasukuwere indicated that the Harare Mayor and some City of Harare Councillors had acted unlawfully and defied his directive ordering them not to approve the appointment of seasoned banker James Mushore to the position of Town Clerk for the City of Harare.

This prompted Manyenyeni to engage his lawyers from ZLHR to file an urgent chamber application on Thursday 21 April 2016 challenging Minister Kasukuwere’s decision as unlawful and unconstitutional on the basis that he has no such powers in terms of the Constitution and as has been previously held by the High Court in the cases of Hamutendi Kombayi and Ten Others vs Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing and Hamutendi Kombayi and Ten Others vs Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.

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