By Mary Taruvinga
PROSECUTOR General (PG) Kumbirai Hodzi has filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court seeking to bar exiled former Cabinet Minister Saviour Kasukuwere from getting title deeds of his Nyanga holiday home which was held as surety after he failed to attend trial.
Kasukuwere was facing several criminal charges and was yet to stand trial when High Court Judge Justice Tawanda Chitapi dismissed all charges he was facing saying there was no incriminating evidence against him.
Early this week, 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.
In his urgent application, Hodzi said he fears Kasukuwere will dispose his property leaving him with no any other recourse in case he wins the Supreme Court challenge.
“Kasukuwere has shown that he is ready to deal with the property and may possibly dispose of it. I seek an urgent intervention of the court to interdict Kasukuwere from dealing with the property or disposing of it pending the resolution of the dispute under SC550/19,” said Hodzi in his application.
Supporting Hodzi’s request was an affidavit by Tafadzwanashe Mupariwa from National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) who also said it is clear Kasukuwere wants to dispose his holiday home.
“Kasukuwere has acted in a manner which shows that it is his intention to deal with the property in a manner that will prejudice the interests of the applicant and the due administration of justice. Should the application not be dealt with now, the applicant may not be able to have recourse to the property as it will be difficult for him to retain the property as recognisance in the event that he succeeds in his appeal under SC550/19,” said Mupariwa.
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. From 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 Ministers who served under former President Robert Mugabe before the November 2017 coup.
He however left the country for South Africa before he trial commenced on pretext he was going to seek medical attention for a heart related illness.
He never came back prompting Harare Magistrate, Hosea Mujaya who was presiding over his case to order forfeiture of Kasukuwere’s holiday home.
Kasukuwere appealed against the ruling and also filed a an urgent chamber application seeking to bar state functionaries from dealing with his property pending determination on his appeal.
Kasukuwere appealed against the ruling at the Supreme Court where the case is pending.
The case was eventually set down for hearing before Chitapi ruled in his favour.
High Court dismisses water provision challenge
By Mary Taruvinga
HIGH Court Judge Justice Owen Tagu on Wednesday dismissed an urgent chamber application filed by Community Water Alliance Trust (CWAT) seeking an order to compel President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his government to ensure the provision of water to Harare residents.
Justice Tagu upheld submissions filed by Local Government Minister July Moyo, who argued that water pumping at Morton Jaffray Water Treatment Plant had resumed.
The water plant had been shut down when City of Harare ran out of chemicals for water treatment recently.
Tagu said there was no need to entertain the chamber application before he struck it off the roll of urgent matters.
“As for now, the urgency of the matter has been overtaken by events,” said the judge.
“The application will therefore be removed from the roll of urgent matters.”
In the application, which was filed at the High Court last week, CWAT represented by Denford Halimani of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) petitioned the court to order President Mnangagwa to declare a state of disaster in Harare.
It was argued that the call would allow for the raising of funds and enable resources to be channelled towards the water crisis in the capital city.
CWAT argued that despite the calamity of the water crisis, Mnangagwa had inexplicably not exercised his powers to declare a state of disaster, which would allow for the intervention of central government and donor support to avert a foreseeable imminent disaster.
Residents in most of Harare’s suburbs have gone for long periods without access to running water after City of Harare announced on Monday 23 September 2019 that it was shutting down Morton Jaffray Water treatment plant citing foreign currency shortages to purchase water treatment chemicals.
CWAT then argued that local and central government’s failure to supply safe, clean and potable water constitutes a breach of residents’ rights enshrined in Section 77 of the Constitution .
They argued that the right to water is necessary for the enjoyment of other human rights such as the right to life, human dignity, health and food.