Kasukuwere excepts to criminal abuse of office rap

HARARE - Former Cabinet minister Saviour Kasukuwere — facing charges of criminal abuse of office and violation of the Procurement Act — has filed an application for exception arguing that the allegations put against him did not disclose an offence.

The charge relates to the case of Shuvai Gumbochuma, sister to former first lady Grace Mugabe, who is before the courts on allegations of fraudulently acquiring vast tracts of land from Kasukuwere’s Local Government ministry worth more than $2 million.

Through his lawyer Thembinkosi Magwaliba, Kasukuwere filed the 20-page application yesterday morning before the trial was set to commence.

In the application, Magwaliba argued that his client had the right to allocate land as Lands minister.

“Assuming that the accused person in his capacity as a minister of local planning authority, allocated and relocated land, it was perfectly within his powers to do so,” Magwaliba said.

“There was no deviation from his powers to have done so. There was no deviation from his powers in terms of the Act. The engagement in a trial based on alleged facts which do not establish a criminal offence will be a complete waste of time.”

Prosecutor Zivanai Macharaga requested that the matter be rolled over to a later date to allow him to go through the application and respond in writing.

Macharaga also indicated that he never received notice from the defence notifying him of their intention to except to the charges.

Harare regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya rolled the matter over to November 29 for ruling.

On October 29, Magwaliba lodged an application requesting missing documents, minutes before trial kick off.

Magwaliba made the application after he took over legal representation from Charles Chinyama.

Macharaga accused the defence team of stalling commencement of trial through frivolous applications.

After being served with some of the documents, Magwaliba applied for further particulars on November 8 as per section 177 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act which he said were still missing.

The missing documents included minutes of meetings, a police entry diary and a due diligence report in relation to Gumbochuma’s land applications.

Macharaga told the court he has done everything in his power to ensure that the defence is provided with all the paperwork needed to prepare for trial but the due diligence report requested does not exist.

The court resolved to subpoena the permanent secretary in the Local Government ministry George Magosvongwe compelling him to release documents relating to Kasukuwere’s trial and the documents have since been handed to the defence counsel.

Comments (1)

Tyson why try hard to counter charges against you by seeking exception. Just go for trial if you are clean and prove your innocence.

Mark Mudzi - 22 November 2018

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