By Mary Taruvinga
FORMER cabinet minister Saviour Kasukuwere, 48, who is facing several criminal offences was Thursday given his passport back by a Harare court so he can to travel for medical treatment in South Africa.
Harare magistrate Hosea Mujaya ordered the State to temporarily give Kasukuwere his passport and also relax his reporting conditions until his return.
The former Zanu PF national commissar’s health complaint was not disclosed in court.
“The accused intended to apply for the release of his passport on January 3, but he failed to because on New Year’s Eve he lost his mother,” said defence lawyer said his lawyer, Advocate Thembinkosi Magwaliba.
“On January 3 he was attending the funeral. Kasukuwere had placed the State on notice to seek his passport on his last appearance in 2018. The accused is going to see a physician.”
Supporting documents tendered by Advocate Magwaliba comprised confirmation from Kasukuwere’s local doctor, quotations as well as letters from the physician treating him in South Africa.
Prosecutor Zivanai Macharaga of the President’s special unit did not oppose the application saying the state had established that documentation was factual.
“It’s better for the accused to seek medical attention before the trial proceeds,” said Macharaga.
The magistrate concurred saying, “I have gone through the documents tendered and they are authentic.
“The State is also not opposed to the application. As such, it is ordered to return the accused passport and to relax his reporting conditions until the 16th of this month.”
Kasukuwere is expected back in court on January 17 for trial.
This became the first time an order was granted in favour of Kasukuwere.
He once applied for release of his passport intending to travel abroad on a business mission but later dropped the request.
Kasukuwere also applied for exception to the charges arguing that allegations against him did not constitute a criminal offence.
After the application was trashed by the magistrate, he approached the High Court seeking a review of the magistrate’s ruling and the judgement was reserved.
Kasukuwere is facing three criminal abuse of office charges and another of contravening the Procurement Act.