FRAUD trial: Kasukuwere accused of buying time

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By Court Reporter

FORMER cabinet minister Saviour Kasukuwere has been accused of trying to avert trial after he approached the courts with a new request, further stalling proceedings.

He is facing three criminal abuse of duty charges and another of contravening the Procurement Act.

Some of the cases relate to land deals involving former First Lady Grace Mugabe’s sister, Shuvai Gumbochuma.

On Wednesday, Kasukuwere excerpted to the charges with the application became the fifth filed since his arrest.

“The application is a time-wasting gimmick, only meant to delay the trial. I can sense it, the accused will definitely make more applications stalling commencement of his trial,” complained prosecutor Zivanai Macharaga of the President’s Special Anti-corruption office.

“If anything, I’m frowning upon this application. The issues the defence is raising are triable issues. If the State fails to prove its case, it will fall on its face.

“The allegations are very clear, and the state will prove its case.”

Kasukuwere, through his lawyer, Nthembinkosi Magwaliba, had excerpted to the charges he is facing, arguing that the State did not identify essential elements of the crime he supposedly committed.

“How does the accused person know how he strayed out of his parameters if the State is refusing to avail documents outlining the code of conduct of ministers? Asked the defence lawyer.

“What standards did he not follow? The parameters are not known. The normative standards are only known to the state.”

Kasukuwere also insisted that he did not commit any offence since it was his subordinates who distributed land.

The former senior Zanu PF politician allegedly committed the land-related offences when he was serving as local government minister in ex-president Robert Mugabe’s government.

The other count was allegedly committed while he was youth and empowerment minister.

In the latter case, prosecutors allege that Kasukuwere awarded a tender to a company called Brainworks Capital without following procedures.