Judge okays auctioning of Saviour Kasukuwere home for absconding court

Judge okays auctioning of Saviour Kasukuwere home for absconding court
Published: 18 June 2019 (216 Views)
Former Local Government Minister Saviour Kasukuwere will lose his home in Vumba after the High Court ruled that its forfeiture after he skipped bail was a self-created hardship.

The holiday home was forfeited in March after the once powerful Zanu-PF politician failed to appear in court for his corruption trial.

Harare regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya ruled that the house, which Kasukuwere had used as surity to secure his release on bail, may be disposed.

On Monday, Justice Edith Mushore applauded Harare magistrate for ordering forfeiture saying it was clear Kasukuwere was in wilful default.

Mushore said Kasukuwere should not expect any special treatment because he was aware of the consequences of absconding.

Mushore said there was not a single justification of Kasukuwere's continuous stay in South Africa, where he went on the pretext of seeking medical attention.

"When the applicant was granted bail by the court a quo (Magistrates Court), the applicant entered into a contract with the State upon which he paid for his liberty and furnished securities under the understanding that his default to abide the terms of the court would have negative consequences on his sureties to the extent that they could be forfeited by the State," Justice Mushore said.

"It is my view that the applicant has misconstrued the purport behind the relevant provisions surrounding the issue in the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act (CPEA)… It is common cause that he surrendered his Vumba home. He should have appreciated risks involved in the event of his failure to attend court

"Applicant must be disabused from the notion that he is exempted from the consequences of his nonattendance at a court appointed date and time.

"His expectation to be given special treatment was entirely presumptuous. It is my view that the magistrate was fully entitled to decree the applicant's Vumba property forfeited.

"The applicant has committed an act of abscondment. It cannot be put any other way."

The once powerful minister had approached the High Court seeking an order interdicting any State from disposing his house.

Kasukuwere is facing several corruption related offences and his trial was yet to begin when he successfully applied for his passport to be released to enable him to travel to South Africa where he was due to be treated for a heart ailment.

No lawyer was present to explain his absence at subsequent court dates, prompting the State represented by Zivanai Macharaga of the special anti-corruption unit to apply for forfeiture of his Vumba home. His failure to appear in court also resulted in the issuance of an arrest warrant.

- ZimLive

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