By Clifford Chitupa Mashiri
LONDON- Zimbabwe’s Attorney General Johannes Tomana should not think that we are fools by making a u-turn on WikiLeaks just because the accused are now Zanu-PF top brass.
Right from the outset, it is important to clarify that nobody should be prosecuted for what is in the Wikileaks cables as they have already been punished by the publicity of their secret liaisons. That includes people from all parties.
However, we disagree with the Attorney General Johannes Tomana in his latest attempt to spin the truth in order to save the reputation of his fellow Zanu-PF allies.
There should not have been any WikiLeaks investigation in the first place if Jonathan Moyo with the help of the Zanu-PF orientated state media had not criminalised MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai. People expected the rule of law to extend to Zanu-PF.
According to RadioVop, Thursday 15 December 2011, Tomana said politicians being investigated for what he alleged as acts of treason arising from the WikiLeaks cables have no case to answer because he claims that most of the information was not true.
“We have done our investigation and what we have found out is that most of the WikiLeaks information was not true that is why we have not prosecuted those who were being investigated on the basis of the WikiLeaks cables,” Tomana said.
However, Tomana should tell the truth – that “we were just trying to wind-up the opposition and buy time by pretending to probe Zanu-PF officials.”
In any case, had Tomana proceeded to prosecute his henchmen for alleged treason, how many members would Zanu-PF have remained with given that it now has five hundred thousand members (including ANC SA and forced army recruits?) in a population of about eleven million people?
The AG should stop deluding himself into thinking that every utterance made by any Zimbabwean regardless of political persuasion constitutes treason because the views expressed are critical of Robert Mugabe’s dictatorship and overstaying his welcome.
Tomana’s climbdown on prosecuting Zanu-PF top brass for treason was obviously expected given Zanu-PF’s culture of impunity and double standards.
We have not forgotten how Jonathan Moyo threw all the toys from his cot and cried treason until his voice went horse on learning that the early cables had allegedly implicated the MDC President Morgan Tsvangirai.
However, the Zanu-PF “law of treason” had to be suddenly revised if not temporarily suspended when Jonathan Moyo and his fellow Zanu-PF politburo and central committee members became the centre of WikiLeaks cables. Moyo confessed having sleepless nights.
Not that we seek to criminalise people who go about expressing their opinions freely, but simply want fair play and justice rather than hypocrisy and waste of tax payers money by intimidating the opposition in order to appease tyrant Robert Mugabe who may not be paying any taxes of significance in the first place.
Johannes Tomana should be reminded that he risks possible prosecution and or civil lawsuit for among other things, alleging that “most of the WikiLeaks information was not true”, possible abuse of office and the misuse of national resources for partisan wars.
What if the State Department initiated an indictment against Tomana for suggesting that American diplomats were filing false information? Also, how can Tomana justify the accusation he makes or aspersion he casts on the WikiLeaks website?
Can Tomana show cause why he should not step down as the AG having failed to serve in an inclusive and non-partisan manner in the administration of justice in the Republic of Zimbabwe by using his position to arguably terrorise the opposition?
Knowing how much Tomana wants to sound big with high profile cases which always collapse e.g. Bennett’s and the almost aborted lawsuit against the European Union for sanctions before it even started, nobody was worried about his WikiLeaks probe. Tomana is not fooling anyone about WikiLeaks, except himself. The only advice to give the learned Attorney General of Zimbabwe is that, when you are in a hole, you should stop digging.
Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London, [email protected]