'Kasukuwere delaying day of reckoning'

HARARE - The State has accused former Cabinet minister Saviour Kasukuwere of boggling the court with frivolous applications in an effort to delay the commencement of his trial and his “day of reckoning.”

Kasukuwere is accused of criminal abuse of office after he allegedly showed favour to Grace Mugabe’s sister Shuvai Junior Gumbochuma by parcelling out vast pieces of land to her without payment.

The former Local Government minister is also accused of violating the Procurement Act by awarding a contract to Brainworks without going to tender.

Prosecutor Zivanai Macharaga of the Special Anti-Corruption Unit set up by President Emmerson Mnangagwa said Kasukuwere had embarked on a time-wasting strategy after putting the State on notice that he intends to lodge another application before trial kicks off.

“The defence has put the State on notice that it intends to file another application where they will argue that the accused person will not get a fair trial in this court.

“Why make an application if he won’t get a fair ruling because doubt has already been cast on the fairness of the court?” questioned Macharaga.

This comes after presiding magistrate Hosea Mujaya indicated in court last week that Chief Justice Luke Malaba has shown displeasure at the delay of commencement of trial.

Macharaga argued that the claims that the court is under pressure and that the accused might not get a fair trial are unjustified, adding that the court’s position is that trial must commence without further delay.

“The defence has adopted a time-wasting gimmick meant to delay trial and the day of reckoning. I foresee many more applications being filed in this honourable court to stall trial. I pray that this application to except to charges be dismissed,” submitted Macharaga.

Last week, Kasukuwere filed an application to except to all charges, arguing that the charges put to him do not disclose an offence.

On October 29, Kasukuwere’s lawyer Thembinkosi Magwaliba lodged an application requesting missing documents minutes before trial kick off.

Magwaliba, who made the application after taking over legal representation from Charles Chinyama, argued that the missing documents were critical to his client’s defence.

After being served with some of the missing documents, Magwaliba filed for further particulars on November 8 as per section 188 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act which he said were still missing.

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

However, Macharaga told the court that he has done everything in his power to ensure that the defence counsel is furnished but some of the documents do not exist.

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

 

Sign up to receive BREAKING NEWS mobile phone text alerts from the Daily News for 5 cents a day. Dial *109*2# now to register. This service available to Econet users only.

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.