Zimbabwe has requested Kenya and South Africa to help extradite three former cabinet ministers in self-exile in the two countries to enable them to face charges of alleged criminal abuse while they were in office.The state-run Herald daily reported that the government has formally asked South Africa to extradite former cabinet ministers Saviour Kasukuwere and Walter Mzembi to Zimbabwe to answer to several counts of criminal abuse of duty as public officers.
Among other charges, Kasukuwere is accused of abusing his former position as local government and housing minister by allegedly parcelling out over 220 hectares of land in Harare and other towns to a sister of ex-first lady Grace Mugabe.
According to The Herald, the National Prosecuting Authority recently wrote to South African authorities seeking the assistance with bringing Kasukuwere to a Zimbabwean court for trial.
“Indictment papers have since been prepared and Kasukuwere will be tried as soon as he is brought home,” the paper said.
The Harare authorities are also awaiting response from Pretoria on an earlier request to have Mzembi extradited for trial on charges of theft and fraud.
Mzembi skipped bail while on remand on charges of criminal abuse of duty and theft of trust funds involving US$847,000.
The alleged crime was committed while Mzembi was tourism minister and was spearheading Zimbabwe’s co-hosting of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation Conference in August 2013.
The Zimbabwean authorities have also asked Kenya to extradite former higher education minister Jonathan Moyo, who is accused of diverting over US$240,000 from the Zimbabwe Manpower Development Fund.
The three former ministers deny any wrongdoing and accuse the government of political victimisation.