Tendai Rupapa, Harare Bureau
FORMER Cabinet Minister Saviour Kasukuwere was yesterday arrested on four counts of alleged abuse of office and spent a night at Rhodesville police station in Harare pending his appearance in court today.
Kasukuwere handed himself to the police yesterday morning on his return from South Africa.
He is facing three counts of criminal abuse of office as a public officer during his tenure as a Cabinet Minister, according to his lawyer Mr Jonathan Samukange.
Mr Samukange said the first three charges were committed while Kasukuwere was still serving as a Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.
The other count was allegedly committed while he was the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment in which he corruptly awarded a tender to a company called Brainworks Capital.
Mr Samukange said Kasukuwere is expected to appear in court today.
“My client arrived from South Africa yesterday (Sunday) and we communicated with the police and agreed to hand him over to them today (Monday) in the morning and the agreed time was 8:30 AM,” he said.
“We handed him to the Uniform Branch Special Anti-corruption Unit where they recorded his warned and cautioned statement on criminal abuse of office charges. From there we proceeded to the National Prosecuting Authority and spent hours there.
“We were then told that there were certain issues that police needed to attend to in respect of the allegations hence he was taken back to the police and is now being detained at Rhodesville police station pending his appearance in court today.”
Mr Samukange said the three counts were related to land issues involving former First Lady Mrs Grace Mugabe’s sister, Junior Shuvai Gumbochuma.
Gumbochuma appeared in court recently facing three counts of fraud.
She was reportedly given land through the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing.
It is the State’s case that sometime in August 2014, stands number 139 and 140 Gillingham Estate in Dzivaresekwa were available for sale to deserving and capable developers who could subdivide them into high-density residential stands.
Gumbochuma misrepresented to the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing that she had the capacity to develop the land.
On March 27, 2015, she was offered the land and was asked to pay $424 426 to the ministry.
Gumbochuma, the State alleges, who had neither the capacity to pay the intrinsic land value nor to develop it then formed and registered a company called Scanlen (Pvt) Ltd as a vehicle to affect her fraudulent transaction.
Between August and October 2017, Gumbochuma sold the land for $2 060 000 without paying for the land. She made a profit of $1 636 574 without doing anything.
It is also alleged that in February 2016, Gumbochuma misrepresented that Rodonior (Pvt) Ltd was a registered company capable of contracting as a legal persona.
She made an application for land under the unregistered company and the ministry acting upon the misrepresentation allocated 150 hectares of land in Good Hope to Rodonior (Pvt) Ltd.
On the third charge in August of the same year, Gumbochuma again used the same company and made an application for allocation of land in Chishawasha B Goromonzi.
A few days later, the ministry allocated 20 hectares of land to Gumbochuma, it is alleged.