The High Court on Wednesday ruled that suspended Harare mayor, Bernard Manyenyeni, must be re-instated with full benefits.
The court order effectively stopped further suspensions of the mayor.
Local Government minister, Saviour Kasukuwere, more than a month ago placed Manyenyeni on suspension for allegedly failing to obey his instructions.
This followed the appointment of James Mushore as the new town clerk who Kasukuwere insisted was not cleared by the Local Government Board despite Manyenyeni’s support of the banker.
In a statement, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) which represented Manyenyeni through Lovemore Madhuku, said the mayor, who was subsequently suspended for alleged failure to deal with corruption at Town House, had been brought back with “full allowances”.
Justice Lavender Makoni had on 17 June reserved judgment in the matter.
Madhuku, Dzimbabwe Chimbga, David Hofisi and Belinda Chinowawa from ZLHR filed an urgent chamber application three days later, arguing that the minister is not permitted by Section 114 of the Urban Councils Act as read with Section 278 of the Constitution to further suspend the mayor whose initial suspension had already expired.
The law prohibits the minister from instigating a second suspension on grounds that were already known when the first one occurred.
Manyenyeni’s defence argued in the urgent application that suspending Manyenyeni “in installments” amounted to abuse of office.
MDC-T Local Government shadow minister, Eddie Cross, recently told journalists that Kasukuwere had boasted that he would continue to suspend Manyenyeni till the expiry of his tenure in 2018.
Meanwhile the opposition MDC-T has condemned what it called the “unlawful arrest and detention” of Manyenyeni by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission on Wednesday.
Immediately after Justice Lavender Makoni had handed down a ruling at the High Court in Harare calling for the immediate re-instatement of the Mayor of Harare, some officers from the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission pounced on the Mayor and arrested him for allegedly committing the criminal offence of criminal abuse of office.
“It is patently clear that the unlawful arrest and detention of the Mayor of Harare at the Avondale Police Station has been occasioned by the malevolent and grossly malicious machinations of the Minister of Local Government, Saviour Kasukuwere,” the MDC-T said.
“Kasukuwere is on a Zanu PF-inspired mission to totally decimate all the MDC-controlled urban local authorities as the bankrupt and clueless Zanu PF regime gears to rig the harmonised elections that are scheduled to be held in 2018.
“The fact of the matter is that Mayor Manyenyeni has done absolutely nothing wrong and/or criminal in the manner in which he has been running the civic affairs of the capital city, Harare.
“If anything, Kasukuwere is determined to get Mayor Manyenyeni out of the way at Town Harare so that he can continue to unlawfully usurp and interfere with the day to day management of the city’s affairs.
“When everything has been said and done, Kasukuwere is simply performing the evil hatchet job of the beleaguered and bankrupt Zanu PF regime to ensure that mayhem and disorder prevail in all urban local authorities that are controlled by the MDC.
“This is the same Stalinist approach that Kasukuwere has employed to derail and collapse all the good work of the MDC councillors in the City of Gweru,” the MDC-T said.