21 May 2018

Zimbabwe: I'm Coming Home 'This Week', Says Exiled Kasukuwere

Former local government minister Saviour Kasukuwere says he will return home as "early as this week", adding he is ready to face prosecution over corruption allegations raised by the Harare authorities.

The former Zanu PF national commissar escaped into exile following the November 2017 coup which ousted then president Robert Mugabe who had ruled the country since independence in 1980.

A loyalist of the veteran leader, Kasukuwere was thought to be one of the "criminals around the president" targeted by the military for allegedly taking advantage of the aged Mugabe to cause economic and political mayhem in the country.

Speaking to the South Africa-based Sunday Times over the weekend, the ebullient former cabinet minister said he was ready to return and face the music.

"We were accused of corruption and that we are the centre of destroying the economy," Kasukuwere told the paper.

"The reason I will go back home is that if I did commit a crime, then I must be brought before the courts and charged."

His exact whereabouts remain unclear although he was said to have met the paper's reporters at a hotel in Ekurhuleni.

Life in exile, had not been easy, the minister conceded.

"I have had to adapt to the environment, live within my means and do away with yesterday's appetites," he said. "I can't afford either the luxury or the pleasures of things such as a holiday."

Commenting on Mugabe's ouster, Kasukuwere said the military need not have intervened in what was essentially a political dispute between politicians.

"You would have expected political players to deal with each other politically," he said.

Kasukuwere had been a key part of the G40 Zanu PF faction which opposed new president Emmerson Mnangagwa's succession bid.

Backed by then first lady Grace Mugabe, G40 appeared to have triumphed after then President Mugabe fired Mnangagwa from government and the ruling party.

However, the military intervened and it was Kasukuwere and his allies who had to scatter into the peril of political exile.

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