Tendai Rupapa Senior Reporter
The prosecution is seeking to forfeit former Cabinet minister Saviour Kasukuwere’s upmarket leisure home in Nyanga after he failed to appear in court for trial. He was issued with an arrest warrant in January by regional magistrate Mr Hoseah Mujaya.
Kasukuwere on January 10 successfully applied for his passport back on the grounds he wanted to travel to South Africa for medical attention and the State did not oppose the application, saying it was convinced by documents from his doctor confirming the medical check-up.
He was supposed to return the passport on January 17, and his failure to do so prompted the State to apply for an arrest warrant.
Kasukuwere’s lawyer Advocate Thembinkosi Magwaliba, instructed by Mr Charles Chinyama, contends that his client is not yet fit to stand trial.
The State was not satisfied with the defence’s explanation on the current condition of the former minister, despite having been shown a letter from the doctor indicating that Kasukuwere was making weekly visits to the doctor.
Representing the prosecution, Mr Zivanai Macharaga from the Special Prosecuting Unit, in his application yesterday told the court that if Kasukuwere was able to visit the hospital on a weekly basis, he was also able to visit the court on the days he was not seeing his doctor.
He then applied to have his Nyanga property forfeited to the State basing on section 133 (a) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act.
“The accused is aware that his trial is supposed to commence,” said Mr Macharaga. “Immediately after his urgent application was dismissed by the High Court, he was supposed to turn up for trial.
“He is not detained in a hospital, but making weekly visits, so what is stopping him from coming to court so that the court can decide whether trial should proceed or not.
“We are looking at section 133 (a) and see if the court can order forfeiture of the accused’s property on default. The accused is enjoying life in South Africa and benefiting from revenue realised from the Nyanga property, while nothing is being done to the property by the State. This will mean that section 133 is unhelpful to the justice delivery system.”
In response, Advocate Magwaliba opposed the application maintaining that Kasukuwere was unwell and would attend trial when he is fit.