ZANU PF-Controlled Herald Announces Warrants of Arrest Against Robert Mugabe’s Successor Kasukuwere
By Farai D Hove | In a sudden turn of events, the ZANU PF-controlled newspaper, The Herald, has announced two arrest warrants against Saviour Kasukuwere, the former ZANU PF National Commissar and “successor” to the late head of state Robert Mugabe. This revelation comes just 24 hours after Kasukuwere declared his candidacy for the upcoming 2023 presidential election, challenging the incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa. The Herald, in a seemingly mocking tone, reported the warrants while quoting Mnangagwa’s girlfriend, Virginia Mabhiza, who emphasized that these warrants were issued prior to Kasukuwere expressing his intention to run for the presidency. The article aims to shed light on the circumstances surrounding these warrants and address the claims of political motivation made by Kasukuwere.
Saviour Kasukuwere was among the 11 candidates who successfully filed their nomination papers as independent candidates for the presidential elections scheduled for August 23. While based in South Africa, Kasukuwere has been vocal about his concerns regarding potential political persecution by the Zimbabwean government upon his return to campaign for the elections. In an attempt to portray the charges against him as politically motivated, he has sought international media attention.
Warrants of Arrest:
Contradicting Kasukuwere’s claims, the Herald printed saying the arrest warrants were issued on January 18, 2019, by retired Harare magistrate Mr Hosea Mujaya. The warrants were a consequence of Kasukuwere’s failure to appear for trial on four counts of criminal abuse of office. Moreover, another warrant was issued after Kasukuwere failed to resubmit his passport to the clerk of court within the agreed period. The existence of these warrants indicates that they were not issued in response to Kasukuwere’s presidential aspirations, but rather as a result of his non-compliance with legal proceedings.
The National police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, confirmed the validity of the warrants and stated that they had not been cancelled. The first warrant was issued based on Kasukuwere’s failure to attend court proceedings, while the second was related to his failure to return his passport within the stipulated timeframe. Nyathi emphasized that the police were in possession of these warrants and were yet to execute them.
Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Permanent Secretary, Virginia Mabhiza, asserted that when faced with an arrest warrant, an individual should submit themselves before the law. Mabhiza stressed that Kasukuwere should engage his legal representation to advise him on the appropriate actions to take, including seeking the cancellation of the warrants. She reiterated that submitting oneself to the law is standard procedure.
The sudden announcement of arrest warrants against Saviour Kasukuwere by The Herald, a newspaper controlled by the ruling ZANU PF party, raises questions about the timing and potential political motivations behind the disclosure. However, the confirmation of these warrants by the police, coupled with the government’s response, suggests that they are not a response to Kasukuwere’s presidential candidacy. Rather, they stem from his failure to comply with court proceedings and his unfulfilled obligations related to his passport. As the election season unfolds, it is crucial to differentiate between political maneuvering and legitimate legal processes to ensure a fair and transparent electoral environment in Zimbabwe.