Kasukuwere trial in false start

FORMER Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere, who is facing criminal abuse of office charges for allegedly allocating land to former First Lady Grace Mugabe’s sister, Shuvai Gumbochuma, yesterday filed an application for exception to the charges because the charge sheet did not disclose an offence.

BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE

Kasukuwere, represented by Advocate Thembi Magwaliba and Charles Chinyama, filed the application before magistrate Hosea Mujaya, who postponed the matter to November 29 for ruling.

Mujaya asked Magwaliba if the application was a ploy to delay trial, to which the latter responded that it was a process of the trial. The State, represented by Zivanai Macharaga, told the court that the defence had ambushed him with the application which he said was not provided for in the law as he needed to be informed for him to file a response.

In his application, Kasukuwere said the State erred in charging him for the part played by accounting officers of his ministry because the charges by the State could only be committed by an accounting officer or any other person to whom duties of accounting officer had been delegated.

Kasukuwere said the State outline was silent in respect of powers of the minister to allocate or reallocate land and to what extent he deviated from that standard.

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