The trial of former Zanu PF Political Commissar Savior Kasukuwere took a new twist yesterday following an application by the state to forfeit and dispose his Nyanga property worthy $250 000 if he fails to appear in court in 90 days.
The property was surrendered to the court as part of Kasukuwere’s bail conditions. Prosecutor Zivanai Macharaga who is from the President’s special prosecuting unit implored the court to forfeit and dispose the property after 90 days if the ex G4O kingpin fails to appear in court. Kasukuwere was issued with a warrant of arrest in January after he failed to show up from his medical visit in South Africa.
His defense counsel , Tembinkosi Magwaliba had previously told the court that Kasukuwere is scheduled to visit his doctor once every week but the state insisted that his weekly visits do not make him immobile or restrict him from coming back in the country to appear before court. “The State did not make points of law as an application of this kind is yet to be granted by any court. “According to section 133 (a) of the Criminal procedure and evidence Act, the court can order the forfeiture on a property surrendered as surety,” said Macharaga. “A fugitive cannot have audience in court and it is a fact that he failed to appear in court on January 17, the same day in which his High Court application was dismissed, a ruling which meant that his trial was supposed to commence.“His defense counsel alleged that he was meeting with his doctor once every week making it clear that he is not being detained by his doctor and it cannot stop him from traveling back into the country to appear in court as there is nothing at this point that has been brought to court to show that he is immobilizing him,” he said.
Magwaliba opposed to the application saying that the State was using the wrong law as it should have proceeded in terms of Section 119 on the said Act as they used it in applying for a warrant of arrest.The counsel went on to indicate that the section made reference to was a provision of magistrate’s instead.Harare Magistrate Hosea Mujaya will make a determination today.
Kasukuwere is facing four charges of abuse of office emanating from the time he was Minister for Youth Development, Indigenization and Empowerment and that of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing. In the first count, Kasukuwere is accused of flouting tender procedures when he awarded Brainworks Private Limited owned by Mr George Manyere a contract to do brokering services and financial advisory to the Government on indigenization. According to State papers, the appointment of Brainworks was inconsistent and contrary with the nature of his duties as a minister.
On the three other counts during his tenure as local government minister, Kasukuwere is accused of allocating different pieces of State land to Junior Shuvai Gumbochuma without following due process. Gumbochuma is a sister to former First Lady Mrs Grace Mugabe.