A HARARE magistrate yesterday dismissed an application for exception to charges filed by former Local Government minister Saviour Kasukuwere, who is facing four counts of criminal abuse of office after he allegedly allocated land to former First Lady Grace Mugabe’s sister Shuvai Gumbochuma, saying most of the arguments raised in the application were triable.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Kasukuwere, who is represented by advocate Thembinkosi Magwaliba and Charles Chinyama, had filed an application for exception to charges, saying the State outline did not disclose an offence.
In dismissing the application, regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya said most of the arguments in the application were triable and the court must hear both sides.
Kasukuwere had raised a complaint that the State did not furnish him with requisite documents, which include standard allocation procedure document and the document stating the duties of the minister to prepare for their defence.
But magistrate Mujaya ruled that not all documents are provided to the accused, who, however, should have sufficient particulars.
The former minister also filed a complaint, saying he would not receive a fair trial after magistrate Mujaya asked for expedience of the matter to trial, which raised suspicion that the magistrate was under pressure from Chief Justice Luke Malaba, who castigated magistrates for delaying trial of corruption cases.
“On-lookers expect the trial to proceed, but some applications hinder our progress. The court only urged both parties to run with the court not to walk when the court is running,” Mujaya said.
Last week, Magwaliba urged Mujaya to ignore Malaba’s utterances on expedience of the matters, saying his utterance had nothing to do with the rights of the accused in the dock.
The matter was postponed to December 12 for trial.