Crime and Courts

Court: Kasukuwere is a free man and must get his title deeds

Court: Kasukuwere is a free man and must get his title deeds. The former local government minister Savior Kasukuwere was acquitted by Justice Tawanda Chitapi on corruption charges on August 21 last year, but the NPA sought to hold onto his title deeds on the basis that the former Zanu-PF political commissar had forfeited the property by skipping court which resulted in a magistrate issuing an arrest warrant.

Former local government minister Saviour Kasukuwere is a “free man” and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has no legitimate reason for holding onto the title deeds of a Vumba house he tendered as part of his bail conditions, a judge has ruled.

Justice David Mangota ruled on October 9 last year that the quashing of the charges meant Kasukuwere was entitled to his title deeds and bail money. The NPA wrote to the judge in November asking him to explain his reasoning.

On Monday this week, Justice Mangota delivered his written judgment in which he said the NPA had “no basis for continuing to hold onto the title deed of the applicant’s property.”

Justice Mangota said once the charges were quashed, all the proceedings at the Magistrate’s Court including the arrest warrant, fell away.

The judge explained: “The charges which the state preferred against the applicant formed the basis of his arrest and arraignment before the court. All the processes which followed were anchored on the apparent validity of the charges. The charges upon which the applicant’s prosecution was anchored were quashed. They became a nullity on which nothing flows.

“The quashing of the charges rendered everything which depended on them to collapse. Without a foundation upon which the subsequent processes depended, those processes fell to pieces. The squashing of the charges allowed the applicant to revert to the status quo ante his arrest. He became a free man who was entitled not only to the bail which he deposited with the court but also to the title deed of his property.

“He surrendered the same to the court as a way of gaining his freedom. He gained the same when the court quashed the charges.” Advocate Thembinkosi Magwaliba represented Kasukuwere while the NPA was represented by Zivanai Macharaga who showed a “lack of interest” and took a “lackadaisical approach” by failing to support their bid to retain Kasukuwere’s property, according to the judge.

Kasukuwere lost his ministerial position after the military staged a coup that ousted the late former president Robert Mugabe in November 2017. The new regime of President Emmerson Mnangagwa has targeted former Mugabe loyalists for arrest on corruption charges, forcing many to flee into exile. Kasukuwere now lives in South Africa.

Source – Bulawayo24 News

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