Wednesday, 18 March 2020

I WANT ANOTHER JUDGE TO HEAR MY CASE : KASUKUWERE


FORMER Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere’s lawyers have written to the registrar of the High Court, Don Ndirowei, seeking to have the politician’s matter — in which he is demanding an order directing the State to release his title deeds — heard by a judge other than Justice Edith Mushore.

In the letter dated March 12, 2020, Kasukuwere’s lawyer, Harrison Nkomo, said the same “subject matter” had been argued before Mushore in April last year, who had already given her judgment.

“It is therefore, abundantly clear that the honourable judge has made certain pronouncements in her judgment which affect the matter before her. Against that background, we kindly request that you place this letter before her for further administration. We are under instructions to request that the matter be placed before a different judge,” Nkomo said.

In the matter previously heard before Mushore, Kasukuwere sought to bar the State from dealing with or disposing of his Nyanga property. The State confiscated the property, which was surrendered as surety, after he failed to appear at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts where he was facing four charges of criminal abuse of office.
 However, Mushore struck the application off the roll, after ruling that Kasukuwere should first come to the country to purge his contempt.

“In casu (in this case), applicant is dictating his own terms as to when he feels he is likely to return to Zimbabwe to present himself to the court. He is doing that to his peril and in the face of the warrant nor having been vacated and in the absence of the applicant making an effort to return to explain himself, he is deemed to be in contempt of court. Accordingly, on hindsight, this court ought to have denied the applicant its audience because the applicant has not purged his contempt,” Mushore said.

High Court judge Tawanda Chitapi went on to quash the charges against Kasukuwere in August last year, prompting him to make an application demanding his title deeds. High Court judge David Mangota ruled that he was entitled to have his title deeds back after he was acquitted.

In the application in which he is seeking Mushore’s recusal, Kasukuwere demanded his title deeds, accusing the authorities of failing to comply with Mangota’s ruling. In the application he cited the chief magistrate and the clerk of court at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts as respondents.

“The respondents simply have to comply with the order of this honourable court and the order is enforceable against them … Whichever way one looks at it, respondents do not have a defence recognised at law.

“The respondents have unlawfully and unreasonably refused to release the title deeds as directed by this honourable court. Their conduct reflects the attitude they have taken to orders of this honourable court,” Kasukuwere said. Daily News

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