Kasukuwere's case collapses

 Kasukuwere's case collapses
Published: 22 August 2019 (152 Views)
HIGH Court Judge Tawanda Chitapi yesterday quashed four criminal abuse of office charges against former Cabinet minister and top Zanu-PF official Saviour Kasukuwere. In addition, the judge also slammed lower courts for attempting to prosecute Kasukuwere on ambiguous and frivolous allegations. Kasukuwere was facing four counts of criminal abuse of office emanating from his tenure as Local Government minister.

The former Zanu-PF bigwig then approached the High Court seeking a review of the decision by Harare regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya who had dismissed his application to the effect that the abuse of office charges he was facing lacked the essential elements of the offences alleged.

"With due respect to the first respondent (Mujaya), the ruling (Mujaya's) does not show that he applied his mind to the legal issues raised in exception. under the circumstances, adding that if fresh charges were to be made against the former minister, a different court ought to deal with the matter.

"The charge sheet is accordingly quashed in respect of all four counts.

"In the event that the Prosecutor-General Kumbirai Hodzi decides to prosecute the applicant on any amended charges, the fresh proceedings ought to be commenced before a different magistrate," Chitapi added.

Allegations against Kasukuwere had been that in 2012, the government ran an indigenisation programme which required negotiating with foreign-based companies such as Unki Mine, Zimbabwe Platinum Mines, Mimosa Mining Company which, in turn, required brokering services.

The court heard that Kasukuwere was minister of Indigenisation then and presided over a meeting that appointed George Manyere's Brainworks to provide the brokering services and financial advisory to the government.

Kasukuwere was alleged to have flouted tender procedures
in appointing Manyere's company, contrary to his duties as the minister.

It was further alleged that between February 2016 and March 2017, Kasukuwere had directed the allocation of three pieces of land to former first lady Grace Mugabe's sister, Shuvai Gumbochuma,
for development into residential stands.

The court heard that in 2015 Gumbochuma had applied for land from another former minister, Ignatius Chombo's office, but had failed to raise the $424 426 which was the purchase price.

The court further heard that Gumbochuma had proceeded to form a company called Scanlen, as an alleged means to further her fraudulent plans.

Between August and October 2017, Gumbochuma had sold the land to N-Frays for more than $2 million, without paying for the land.

"He did not even interrogate the element of a charge under section 174. It was incumbent on the first respondent to have further interrogated each count in turn and determined the validity thereof," Chitapi ruled.

"The provisions of section 174 are too broad and generalised.
It is for this reason that the duty abused be disclosed by reference to how it should have been carried out and how the accused's conduct as described derogated from the discharge of the duty," he added.

Chitapi also concurred with Kasukuwere that there was no basis to continue with his prosecution.

- dailynews

Tags: Kasukuwere,
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