By Mary Taruvinga
EMBATTLED former cabinet minister Saviour Kasukuwere has new legal representation after being abruptly ditched last week by his lawyer Jonathan Samukange, who is also Zanu PF legislator for Mudzi South.
Kasukuwere, who faces criminal abuse of duty charges, is now being represented by Charles Chinyama.
He appeared before Harare magistrate Elisha Singano on Tuesday and was remanded to October 29 for trial.
Samukange abandoned the former Zanu PF political commissar last week following pressure from his party which questioned his interests in represent the former party official in a corruption case.
The Zanu PF youth league harangued Samukange saying it was “morally and politically irreprehensible” for the Harare lawyer to one hand associate himself with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s anti-corruption mantra and yet on the other hand, jump to the defence of an official accused of the same corruption.
They accused Samukange of attempting to throw spanners in the wake of a party bid to fight corruption as enunciated in its 2018 election manifesto.
Kasukuwere will stand trial for five consecutive days and his case is expected to be finalised within those days.
The ex-minister and ally of former first lady Grace Mugabe is reportedly linked to various fraudulent land deals, among them dishing out vast tracts of land worth over US$2 million to Grace’s sister without following due process.
Kasukuwere was among a handful top officials who were elbowed out of the ruling party when then Vice President Mnangagwa orchestrated a coup against the now former President Robert Mugabe and his G40 backers November last year.
He was forced into exile and only retuned home six months later with signs he had been given some assurances he was not going to be harmed for fronting a fierce campaign to block Mnangagwa’s rise to the country’s top job.
The former Mount Darwin MP was only arrested for skipping the country’s boarder upon his return but was freed by Harare magistrate who said his action was justified.
On Tuesday, and through his lawyer, Kasukuwere also successfully applied for adjustment on his reporting conditions saying there was no need for the state to be strict with him.
He used to report twice a day at the police among other conditions but will now be reporting once a week.
Zivanai Macharaga from the president’s special anti-corruption unit is prosecuting.