By Nokutenda Chiyangwa
The State yesterday opposed former minister Saviour Kasukuwere’s application for exception of charges, arguing that he was just trying to abscond from trial and conviction as there is evidence that he did not follow procedure when he allegedly illegally allocated land to former First Lady Grace Mugabe’s sister Ms Shuvai Junior Gumbochuma.
Kasukuwere’s counsel, led by Mr Charles Chinyama who was instructing Mr Thembinkosi Magwaliba, filed an application for exception last week 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.
Prosecuting, Mr Zivanai Macharaga, who is with the special prosecuting unit, opposed the application saying it is a way of trying to escape trial.
“This is an unnecessary waste of the court’s time and a way of trying to avoid conviction,” he said.
“The accused is obviously admitting that there is a land allocation procedure, but it was not only written in papers, which now makes it relevant and it will be central during trial.
“The trial should proceed and Kasukuwere should have an opportunity to plead after evidence has been presented.”
Mr Magwaliba said the State needed to outline the procedures that they spoke of if they were to be the centre of trial.
He said there was no criminal offence in giving land to Gumbochuma, as there was no clear cut procedure that should be followed when giving land, which meant that the charges did not have the essential elements to constitute a criminal offence.
Presiding magistrate Mr Hosea Mujaya rolled the matter over to today for ruling.
Kasukuwere is facing four charges of abuse of office emanating from the time he was Minister for Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment as well as Local Government, Public Works and National Housing. The Herald