by Joseph W
New Zimbabwe reports:
THE secret panel appointed by Attorney General, Johannes Tomana to examine the possibility of criminal conduct by individuals named in the WikiLeaks cables is packed with lawyers connected to President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party, it can be revealed.
Tomana appointed the five-man team of “legal experts” to investigate the possibility of treasonous conduct by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and others named in the WikiLeaks documents.
The attorney general refused to name members of the team claiming this was necessary to protect their “professional integrity and … independence”.
However, it has emerged that four of the five-member team have connections with Mugabe and senior Zanu PF officials.
Terence Hussein, Simplicious Chihambakwe, Farai Mutamangira have worked for Mugabe and Zanu PF officials before while Gerald Mlotshwa is said to be related to Presidential Affairs Minister, Didymus Mutasa.
Hussein represented Mugabe in various court cases while Mutamangira has given Mines Minister Obert Mpofu legal advice at international meetings to discuss the country’s diamonds.
Chihambakwe was once appointed by Mugabe to enquire into the Gukurahundi massacres in Matabeleland and the Midlands but his report was never made public.
Simplius Chihambakwe has also represented Nicholas Goche, a key ally to Robert Mugabe, whom Mugabe appointed as head of telecommunications in 2009.
The Standard reported on Gerald Mlotshawa in March 2010:
President Robert Mugabe has barred Presidential Affairs Minister Didymus Mutasa’s lawyer from taking over Rydings Primary School in Karoi in one of his most decisive actions against Zanu PF sympathisers abusing the land reform programme to seize private assets. Mutasa in 2007 designated Enthorpe Farm on which the school is built and allocated it to Gerald Mlotshwa who in turn appointed Zanu PF provincial lands secretary, Temba Mliswa as chairman of the school’s board of governors.
It is clear that this panel will rule against Tsvangirai.
Significantly, Johannes Tomana was appointed by Mugabe in late 2008 without the consent of Tsvangirai.
The Zimbabwean reported in December:
Johannes Tomana, the Attorney-General unilaterally appointed by Robert Mugabe two years ago, has been placed on the U.S sanctions list for ‘undermining democratic processes in Zimbabwe.
Mugabe controversially named Tomana as the new AG in December 2008, without consulting Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, in clear violation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA).
Another legislator from the MDC-T said Tomana deserved to be on the list, describing him a ‘devillish little man who is extremely cruel’.
He went on to describe him as also lacking confidence, prone to blundering and as not the cleverest of legal minds.
‘But he saves ZANU PF well in ruthlessly abusing the law to thwart MDC activities,’ the Senator added.
Political analyst Munjodzi Mutandiri told us Tomana is a ZANU PF activist, masquerading as the state’s chief law officer, whose job is to frustrate and deny justice to anyone perceived to be in opposition to his party.
Mugabe’s call for Tomana to investigate Wikileaks revelations of Tsvangirai’s “treachery” is clearly an attempt to use Wikileaks to damn the democratic Zimbabwean opposition as in league with the USA and therefore against the national interests of the Zimbabwean people.
The Wall Street Journal comments:
The charge that hangs most heavily on Mr. Tsvangirai’s head is that he privately urged Western diplomats to maintain sanctions on Zimbabwe—sanctions that target Mr. Mugabe’s cronies—even though the Prime Minister has opposed those sanctions in public. Maybe Mr. Assange imagines that he’s usefully exposed a case of blatant political hypocrisy. The rest of us are more likely to forgive Mr. Tsvangirai for trying to help his country in private while having no choice but to concede in public to a desperate political reality.
This is not the first time the regime has sought to indict Mr. Tsvangirai for treason, and no doubt it would resort to other dirty tricks were it not for the convenience of the leaked cables. But there’s no doubt, either, that Mr. Assange has made the regime’s work that much easier. Even a million for Mr. Tsvangirai’s defense wouldn’t begin to cover WikiLeaks’ collateral damage.