A former ally of ex-first lady Grace Mugabe says he fled Zimbabwe as “a refugee” in the wake of last year’s military takeover, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.
Saviour Kasukuwere, a former local government minister, claims to have 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.
‘No one wants to die’
He later spent six months in exile in South Africa, but returned to Harare last month. He was arrested days later on charges of breaching the immigration act for leaving the country illegally. But 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 the lawyer as saying.
“No one wants to die and he did the right thing to save his life when he was targeted by AK rifles.”
Not authorised to leave the country
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. It was that action that triggered the army takeover and President Robert Mugabe’s resignation days later.
Other G40 figures who remain in exile include former higher education minister Jonathan Moyo and former labour minister, Patrick Zhuwao.
The court heard that Kasukuwere’s diplomatic passport is stamped with the date of his return to Zimbabwe on May 22 but has no corresponding stamp to show he was allowed to leave the country.