Former Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Saviour Kasukuwere has revealed that he skipped the boarder in November last year because he feared for his life.
Kasukuwere pleaded not guilty when he appeared before Harare magistrate Josephine Sande charged with contravening the Immigration Act.
In his defence, Kasukuwere said on November 15 last year he was attacked at his home by unknown people who had guns and he was convinced that they were not robbers but were targeting him.
Kasukuwere, 47, also said that he had to flee and he skipped the boarder to Mozambique as a refugee since his life was in danger.
Jonathan Samukange of Venturas and Samukange Legal Practitioners who is representing Kasukuwere said the events of November 15 last year were in the newspapers and the television after the army had announced that it was targeting criminals around the former president Robert Mugabe and his client was one of those who were affected.
“My client had privileges which accompanied his position in the government at the time, he also had a diplomatic passport and the court should take judicial notice why my client had to abandon all the benefits he had and risked his life with wild animals while trying to exit the country.
“According to the Refugees Act, my client noticed that his life was in danger due to the events that took place on November 15 and he fled as a refugee.”
Prosecuting, Fransica Mukumbiri argued that when Kasukuwere exited the country what was required was to have his passport stamped by an immigration officer.
“On November 15, people marched while celebrating and there was no public disorder, Kasukuwere has to prove that he was attacked at his home and to prove that he also qualified to be a refugee.”
Magistrate Sande remanded the matter to tomorrow fro ruling.
According to State papers, circumstances are that during the period extending from 3 November last year to May 22 this year, Kasukuwere unlawfully exited the country via an unknown point or place which is not an official port of exit.
An analysis on his travelling documents shows that he entered Zimbabwe on November 3 last year.
Further record of travelling shows that he entered Zimbabwe on May 22 this year via Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.
The court heard that there is no corresponding exit endorsement between 3 November last year and 22 May this year.
The State alleges that this shows that Kasukuwere exited the country via any other place other than a port of exit.