By Mary Taruvinga
HIGH Court Judge, Benjamin Chikowero has trashed Prosecutor General (PG) Kumbirai Hodzi’s application seeking to bar exiled former Cabinet Minister Saviour Kasukuwere from getting title deeds to his Nyanga holiday home which were held as surety after he failed to attend trial.
Chikowero struck off the case from the urgent roll before he ordered Hodzi to pay costs of suit to Kasukuwere.
“Whereupon after reading documents filed of record and attorneys arguments, the case is hereby struck off the roll,” he said before he ordered Hodzi to pay the costs.
Kasukuwere was facing several criminal charges and was yet to stand trial when High Court Judge, Tawanda Chitapi dismissed all charges he was facing saying there was no incriminating evidence against him.
Following this, the High Court gave another ruling releasing with immediate effect title deeds to Kasukuwere’s property called Lot 4 of Subdivision D Manchester in the District of Umtali, Zimbabwe registered under 8010/2003 which was held as surety when he was granted bail.
The ruling came at a time Hodzi had applied for leave to appeal against Chitapi’s ruling in the Supreme Court under case number SC550/19.
The application is pending at the Supreme Court.
Hodzi then filed an urgent application saying he feared Kasukuwere will dispose of his property, leaving him with no any other recourse in case he wins the Supreme Court challenge.
Supporting Hodzi’s request was an affidavit by Tafadzwanashe Mupariwa from National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) who also said it was clear Kasukuwere wanted to dispose of his holiday home.
Prosecutor Zivanai Macharaga of the President’s special anti-corruption unit who was handling Kasukuwere’s matter also supported Hodzi’s request saying Kasukuwere’s actions should never be tolerated.
“He has already placed himself beyond the jurisdiction of the courts. He has demonstrated clear defiance of the laws of Zimbabwe. For all intents and purposes, he will avoid the prosecution of his matter and should the title deeds be released to him, he may elect to dispose of the property or deal with it in any manner that will prejudice the due administration of justice,” said Macharaga.
Kasukuwere was one of several former Cabinet Minister arrested and charged with criminal abuse of office or alternatively, corruption following former President Robert Mugabe’s removal from office.
He however left the country for South Africa before his trial commenced on pretext he was going to seek medical attention for a heart related illness.
The former Zanu PF national commissar never came back prompting Harare Magistrate, Hosea Mujaya who was presiding over his case to order forfeiture of his holiday home.
Kasukuwere appealed against the ruling and also filed an urgent chamber application seeking to bar state functionaries from dealing with his property pending determination on his appeal.
The case was eventually set down for hearing before Chitapi ruled in his favour.