Tuesday, 30 October 2018


The trial for former Cabinet minister Saviour Kasukuwere failed to kick off yesterday after his new lawyers lodged an application minutes before trial commencement.

The courts had set October 29 to November 2 as trial dates for Kasukuwere, who is facing four counts of criminal abuse of office.

Kasukuwere’s lawyer, Thembinkosi Magwaliba, sought postponement after he told the court he took over legal representation from Charles Chinyama last week.

Upon his takeover, Magwaliba said he noticed that there were discrepancies in the allegations being levelled against his client and that there were missing documents, which handicapped the defence to adequately prepare for trial.

Magwaliba pleaded with the State to furnish them with the missing documents saying they will help the courts arrive at the truth of the matter.

“State indicated that some of the missing documents may not be in existence.

“...is yet to determine which of the said documents are in existence and which ones are not,” Magwaliba said.

Magwaliba also applied for the relaxation of bail conditions by granting the former Zanu PF political commissar his passport to allow him to travel to South Africa for a business meeting scheduled for November 5 and 9.

He submitted that his client was no flight risk as he returned to the country of his own volition.
However, the State, represented by Zivanai Macharaga, accused the defence team of stalling commencement of trial by filing more than four applications and by applying for relaxation of bail conditions the day when the trial was supposed to begin.

“Today, another five-page document was dispatched and received by me at 8:55am. Trial was supposed to kick off at 9,” said Macharaga.
He added: “This is not a genuine application by my learned colleague.

“It is meant to give him more time and this is not a justified reason for a postponement.
“Nothing has been tendered in this court to prove that there is a genuine meeting in South Africa.
“Trial has to commence without fail.”
The defence had to call Kasukuwere to the stand to testify under oath about the genuinity of his alleged meeting in SA.

“Your worship, I want the passport to go and fulfil the transactions as I stated in the e-mails tendered before this court.

“I’m doing this in view of government’s mandate to allow us to bring goods into the country by scrapping stringent conditions,” he said.

“This also will be a better prospect for business between the country, promoting more goods to come into the country and assist our people.

“It’s a great opportunity to bring money into our country by engaging a company which has major footprints across Africa,” said Kasukuwere.

After being grilled by the prosecutor in cross examination, Kasukuwere was forced to abandon his request before Harare magistrate Hosea Mujaya postponed his case to November 7 for trial. Kasukuwere initially told court that the meeting was supposed to take place between 15 and 19 October.

He then told court the meeting was shifted to November 5 to 9 but could not give documentary evidence saying he spoke with the other parties involved over the phone.

Kasukuwere is facing three counts of criminal abuse of office as a public officer during his tenure as a Cabinet minister under former President Robert Mugabe government.

The first three charges were allegedly committed while Kasukuwere served as Local Government minister.

The other charge was allegedly committed while he was the Youth Development minister in which he reportedly corruptly awarded a tender to a company called Brainworks Capital.

The first three counts were related to land issues involving former first lady Grace Mugabe’s sister, Junior Shuvai Gumbochuma.

Gumbochuma has since appeared in court facing three counts of fraud and is currently on remand. Daily News


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