Former cabinet Minister Savior Kasukuwere has been acquitted for allegedly violating the country’s immigration laws by unlawfully leaving Zimbabwe using an undesignated port.
A Zimbabwean minister during the Robert Mugabe presidency‚ Saviour Kasukuwere‚ fled the country in November last year at the height of the military takeover. Now he has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the courts.
Kasukuwere and former ally professor Jonathan Moyo were the leading lights of Generation-40 (G40)‚ an outfit of staunch supporters of Grace Mugabe bent on blocking current president Emmerson Mnangagwa from ascending to power.
On the night of an attack on the two politicians’ homes‚ professor Moyo and his family fled to Kasukuwere’s‚ where a total of 113 cartridges were sprayed on the minister’s mansion. This was revealed in court. “Lives would have been lost if it was not God who intervened. It is by his grace that out of 113 spent cartridges not even one killed a person‚” his lawyer Jonathan Samukange argued.
Prosecutor for the state Francesca Mukumbiri put it across that it could have been robbers‚ not the military‚ as the minister had claimed. Kasukuwere’s defence countered this claim. “Roadblocks were mounted on each highway. The capital city was shut down‚ showing that everyone’s business was interrupted by the events of November 14 and 15‚” Samkange said‚ arguing that had his client stayed in the country he would have been killed.
Magistrate Josephine Sande acquitted the former minister‚ saying what he did was the best under the circumstances.
On the night of an attack on his house Ignatius Chombo‚ then-minister of finance‚ was fished from his home while youth league leader Kudzai Chipanga in captivity was to appear on television on November 15 last year‚ apologising to the top military brass. Appearing terror-stricken and wearing a jersey that later became known as the “apolo[jersery]”‚ he said he had been ill-advised and did not write the statement he issued instructing the military to leave politics to politicians.
Moyo and Kasukuwere bid farewell to Mugabe after his fall‚ using Twitter from their hideouts.
In exile Kasukuwere led a private life while his colleague Moyo has given interviews to international media and kept busy on his Twitter account – the most-followed in Zimbabwe. In his latest tweets Moyo is rallying Zimbabweans to vote in numbers and also warned that Zanu-PF is likely to rig the election.
The Mnangagwa administration is keen to get Moyo extradited with the assistance of Interpol. However‚ it is yet to meet the stringent requirements for the extradition of alleged fugitives.
During cross-examination, Ms Mukumbiri asked Kasukuwere if he knew the assailants.
He said he could not lay blame on anyone since he did not see them.
Ms Mukumbiri then asked: “What if they were armed robbers who wanted to steal cash from a minister in that big mansion because you do not know your attackers?”
Kasukuwere said they were not robbers given the number of shots fired.
“What I know is that my life was in danger,” he said. “It was all over the media that there was Operation Restore Legacy going on. They were targeting criminals around the former president and I was one of the targeted ministers.”
Ms Mukumbiri said since Kasukuwere could not identify his attackers, he should have reported the matter to the police.
“You came back on your own to Zimbabwe,” she said. “Are the attackers dead now and is your life not in danger now? If your life was really in danger, you would not have come back.”
Kasukuwere said Zimbabwe was his country and he had to return home to be with his family.
He said he did not care if the assailants pounced on him again.
The State said the fact that Kasukuwere did not register with the international board as a refugee was proof that his life was not in danger, adding that he visited all those countries as a tourist on sightseeing not a refugee.
“What happened at your house did not disturb the public,” said Ms Mukumbiri. “There was no public disorder. It was your own problem and therefore you do not qualify to be exempted according to the law.”
*Prosecutor vakanyanya 🤣🤣🤣*