Ex-Minister Kasukuwere in bid to stop trial

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By Mary Taruvinga

FORMER cabinet minister Saviour Kasukuwere has approached the High Court seeking to avert his prosecution at the Harare magistrate’s court.

Kasukuwere, who is facing three criminal abuse of office charges and another of contravening the Procurement Act, is accusing the trial magistrate of irregularly handling the matter.

The ex-Zanu PF political commissar is not happy with Harare magistrate Hosea Mujaya’s decision to throw away his application for exception.

Last week, the embattled former minister, through his lawyer Charles Chinyama, filed another application challenging the ruling.

In his submissions in an urgent chamber application, Kasukuwere begged the High Court to “quash the magistrates’ court trial proceedings on the basis that Mujaya’s determination on his application for exception was improper”.

“In the initial application, I seek an order setting aside a ruling made by the first respondent (Mujaya) on November 29, dismissing my exception to the charges. I also seek the quashing of the proceedings on account of the fact that the first respondent’s ruling was grossly outrageous in its defiance of logic. It simply did not address the exception at all.

“The danger now looms that unless the present application is heard by this court before December 12, 2018, the first and second respondent (Mujaya and Zivanai Macharaga) will want to proceed with the trial even where the weight matters which are raised in the court application for review have not been determined and dealt with,” the former minister said.

Kasukuwere contends allegations against him do not constitute a crime.

He told Mujaya that ministers have no code of conduct and that he never strayed during his time in office.

The former Mount Darwin MP also said if the trial proceedings were to proceed, he would face irreparable harm.

He said this was because his constitutional rights were being trampled on by the state which failed to provide documents he requested.

Kasukuwere charges arose when he allegedly dished land to former First Lady Grace Mugabe’s sister, Shuvai Gumbochuma.