By Nokutenda Chiyangwa
Former Cabinet Minister Saviour Kasukuwere, who is facing four counts of alleged abuse of office, yesterday made an application for exception on all the charges as he believes that he did not act criminally in any way.
Kasukuwere’s counsel led by Mr Charles Chinyama, who was instructing Mr Thembinkosi Magwaliba, filed the application in terms of Section 170 (1) as read with Section 171 (1) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act which states that one can apply for exception if the charges are not displaying an offence before the court.
Magwaliba argued that Kasukuwere, in his capacity as a minister had the power to allocate land, therefore, there was no deviation from his powers when he awarded the tenders as he did.
He also said that if there was a procurement contract that was signed, it would have been signed by an accounting officer.
Since Kasukuwere as a minister could not legally be the accounting officer as well, it means that he did not breach the Procurement Act as suggested in his charges and in fact the accounting officer should be the one being questioned, said Mr Magwaliba.
The State said that they needed time to respond.
Presiding magistrate Mr Hosea Mujaya rolled the matter over to November 28.
Kasukuwere is facing four charges of abuse of office emanating from the time he was Minister for Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment and that of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.
In the first count, Kasukuwere is accused of flouting tender procedures when he awarded Brainworks Private Limited — owned by Mr George Manyere — a contract to do brokering services and financial advisory to the Government on indigenisation.
Allegations are that the appointment of Brainworks was inconsistent and contrary with the nature of his duties. The Herald