Lawless minister of justice

This week we carry two very disturbing stories about Zimbabwe’s minister of justice, Patrick Chinamasa. The man is a disgrace to his title.
First, he has consistently refused to appear in court to answer charges of obstructing the course of justice - showing his contempt for the due proces

s of the law and his belief that he is above it.
Secondly, he has reportedly instructed the Attorney General to drop charges of political violence, dating back to 2000, against Zanu (PF) thugs and members of the security forces.
This is not the first time a warrant of arrest has been issued against Chinamasa. We salute the magistrate brave enough to do his job like this. Sadly, it is highly unlikely that his efforts will come to anything. The highly politicised police force does not carry out court orders. They obey only their political masters.
The last time a judge issued a warrant of arrest for the justice minister, he found himself arrested, handcuffed, and transported in the open back of a police Land Rover to Matapi Police Station where he was held in filthy conditions for the weekend.
Needless to say he is no longer on the Bench in Zimbabwe.
We hope the courageous Rusape magistrate is spared a similar fate.
The information provided by ZimOnline’s sources suggesting that Chinamasa’s instructions to the Attorney General regarding political violence by ruling party supporters, is ominous indeed. Particularly as the reports suggest the justice minister is acting on orders from none other than Mugabe himself.
The AG has apparently been threatened with serious consequences if he fails to comply. To his credit, the reports suggest that – until now – he has resisted. We hope he can stand firm and fulfil his constitutional mandate for as long as is necessary to bring the perpetrators to justice.
All this is happening at a time when the courts are refusing to grant bail to MDC supporters accused of involvement in the violence against Trudy Stevenson and her colleagues from the Mutambara faction.
This is just another example of the selective application of the, law which has allowed Zimbabwe to descend into lawlessness, with dreadful consequences.

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