Zimbabwe court frees Grace Mugabe ally
A former ally of Zimbabwe's ex-first lady, Grace Mugabe, who was facing charges of unlawfully skipping the country, has reportedly been acquitted.
According to the State-owned newspaper, magistrate Josephine Sande acquitted Saviour Kasukuwere, a former local government minister in ex-president Robert Mugabe's government, saying "he did a reasonable thing to save his life".
Sande said the court had taken into account the bullet holes and empty cartridges which were noticed at his house.
Kasukuwere's release came a day after he had told the court that he fled into “the jungles” of Mozambique out of fear for his life after his Harare home was attacked by soldiers on the night of November 14. He spent at least six months in exile in South Africa, but returned to Harare in May.
He was arrested days later on charges of breaching the immigration act for leaving the country illegally. His lawyer, Jonathan Samkange, told the Harare Magistrates' Court his client acted out of fear for his life.
"The attackers were not robbers but targeted him personally and as such, he became a refugee," the private Daily News quotes Samkange as saying. "No one wants to die and he did the right thing to save his life when he was targeted by AK rifles."
Kasukuwere was alleged to be part of the G40 faction in the ruling Zanu-PF party that orchestrated the sacking of then Vice President, Emmerson Mnangagwa, on November 6.