Jacob Mafume Biography: Early Life, Education, Career, Controversies, Personal Life
Early Life and Education
Jacob Mafume, also known as Jacob Mapfume, is a prominent Zimbabwean politician, lawyer, and dedicated human rights activist. He currently holds the esteemed position of mayor in Harare, the capital city of Zimbabwe. Mafume is an active member of the Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC), a political party that finds its leadership under the guidance of Nelson Chamisa.
Early Life and Education
Jacob Mafume was born in Zimbabwe and attended Gokomere High School. His pursuit of education led him to the University of Zimbabwe, where he diligently studied law from 1996 to 2000. During his time at the university, he showcased his leadership abilities by serving as the secretary general of the University of Zimbabwe Students’ Union.
Jacob Mafume Law Career
Mafume’s professional journey led him to become a respected lawyer associated with Mapunga Bhatasara Attorneys, a prestigious law firm based in Harare. He also contributed his legal expertise to entities like Retina Properties and the Norwegian organization Studentene og Akademikernes Internasjonale Hjelpefond.
Jacob Mafume’s political journey commenced as a founding member of the original Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), a significant opposition party within Zimbabwe. However, in 2014, he and a group of fellow members, including Elton Mangoma, Promise Mkwananzi, and Last Maengahama, were expelled from the party after calling for the resignation of party leader Morgan Tsvangirai. Subsequently, they formed the MDC Renewal Team, which later merged with other parties to establish the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), under the leadership of Tendai Biti.
In the 2013 general elections, Mafume contested the Harare South parliamentary seat but faced defeat against Shadreck Mashayamombe of the ruling party, Zanu-PF.
In 2018, Mafume joined forces with the MDC Alliance, a coalition of seven opposition parties. He secured the role of councillor for Harare Ward 17 (Mt Pleasant) on an MDC Alliance ticket, also assuming the position of deputy secretary for local government within the alliance.
In a significant development, on 3 September 2020, Mafume emerged victorious in the election for mayor of Harare, succeeding Herbert Gomba. This transition came after Gomba’s recall by the MDC-T faction led by Thokozani Khupe. Mafume’s election saw him secure 19 votes against his opponent Luckson Mukunguma’s 14 votes in a Town House-held election.
Jacob Mafume has been entangled in various legal disputes and arrests throughout his political career. Accusations of criminal abuse of office, corruption, fraud, and contempt of court have surfaced in relation to his roles as mayor and councillor. Local Government Minister July Moyo suspended Mafume from his mayoral duties pending investigations, further complicating matters.
Mafume vehemently denies all allegations, attributing them to political motives aimed at thwarting his efforts to enhance service delivery in Harare. He has openly criticized governmental interference in city council matters, expressing concerns about the erosion of the council’s autonomy.
Jacob Mafume Personal Life
Beyond his political engagements, Jacob Mafume is a devoted husband and father of four children. Tragedy struck his personal life when his mother, Maina Mawoneyi Mafume, passed away on 17 March 2023 at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals following a prolonged battle with heart disease.
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