BY CHARLES LAITON
Prosecutor-General (PG) Kumbirai Hodzi’s concerted efforts to bar exiled former Cabinet minister Saviour Kasukuwere from accessing title deeds to his Mutare house recently hit a snag after his urgent application was struck off the roll and an order of costs slapped against him.
High Court judge Justice Benjamin Chikowero made the determination after the PG had filed an application challenging the High Court’s decision to release the former minister’s title deeds that had been forfeited to the State before the matter was eventually heard and charges against Kasukuwere quashed.
“Whereupon, after reading documents filed of record, and hearing counsel, it is ordered that: The application is struck off the roll. The applicant (PG) shall pay the first respondent (Kasukuwere) costs of suit,” Chikowero ruled.
Kasukuwere was last year arrested and charged with criminal abuse of office, but when he took the matter to the High Court on review, Justice Tawanda Chitapi quashed all the criminal charges, saying there was no evidence suggesting that Kasukuwere committed any offence.
Following Justice Chitapi’s judgment, the High Court again issued another order releasing Kasukuwere’s forfeited title deeds to a property called Lot 4 of Subdivision D Manchester in the District of Umtali, Zimbabwe registered under 8010/2003 that had been held as surety upon his release on bail.
But, Hodzi, through prosecutor Zivanai Macharaga of the President’s Special Anti-Corruption Unit, had argued that the order for the release of the title deeds was issued at a time the PG had petitioned the Supreme Court against Justice Chitapi’s ruling and that the matter was still pending under case number SC550/19.
In his founding affidavit, Hodzi said he feared Kasukuwere would dispose of his property once the title deeds were released to him leaving the State with no other recourse in the event that it would score a victory in its Supreme Court appeal.
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 the title deeds were released back to him.