BY CHARLES LAITON
PROSECUTOR-GENERAL (PG) Kumbirai Hodzi has petitioned the High Court on an urgent basis seeking an order to bar self-exiled former Cabinet minister Saviour Kasukuwere from accessing title deeds for his Mutare property which was forfeited to the State before the High Court quashed the ruling.
Kasukuwere was last year arrested and charged with criminal abuse of office, but when he took the matter to the High Court for review, Justice Tawanda Chitapi quashed all the charges saying there was no evidence suggesting that the former Zanu PF political commissar committed any criminal offence during his tenure in government service.
Early this week, the High Court again issued another order releasing Kasukuwere’s forfeited title deeds to a property on Lot 4 of Subdivision D Manchester in Mutare district, registered under 8010/2003, which had been held as surety when he was granted bail.
But according to prosecutor Zivanai Macharaga of the President’s Office Special Anti-Corruption Unit, the order for the release of the title deeds was issued at a time when Hodzi had petitioned the Supreme Court against Justice Chitapi’s ruling and the matter is still pending under case number SC550/19.
In his founding affidavit, the PG said he feared that Kasukuwere would dispose of his property once the title deeds are released to him, leaving the State with no other recourse in case it 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,” Hodzi said.
The PG’s submission was also supported by Tafadzwanashe Mupariwa from the National Prosecuting Authority, who insisted that it was clear that the former minister intended to sell his Mutare property once released back to him.
“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 (PG) and the due administration of justice,” Mupariwa said.
“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.”
The matter is pending.