Gula-Ndebele Inquiry

Gula-Ndebele Inquiry

HARARE - Zimbabwe on Monday resumed an inquiry into the conduct of
Attorney General (AG) Sobuza Gula-Ndebele, with official sources saying the
state planned to call secret service agents to testify that he clandestinely
met a banker who was on a police wanted list.

President Robert Mugabe last November suspended Gula-Ndebele for
allegedly abusing his office and appointed a three-man tribunal to probe
whether the AG – the government’s chief legal officer and an ex-officio
member of Cabinet – should be permanently removed from office.The hearing that began last month but was postponed to yesterday is
being held in camera at the instruction of Mugabe.Top opposition politician and constitutional law expert Welshman
Ncube, who is representing Gula-Ndebele, confirmed the hearing had resumed
but would not shed more details because the matter is in camera.”I can confirm that the hearing has started,” said Ncube, who is
secretary general of the one of the two factions of the main opposition
Movement for Democratic Change party.The state charges that Gula-Ndebele breached the law when he allegedly
met former National Merchant Bank (NMB) deputy managing director James
Mushore who was wanted by the police on charges of breaching the country’s
foreign exchange laws.Mushore fled to Britain in 2004 at the height of a Zimbabwean banking
crisis that saw several finance houses shut down by the country’s central
bank. He was arrested in October upon his return to Zimbabwe.Police, who are separately investigating Gula-Ndebele, say he promised
Mushore he would not be arrested if he returned to Zimbabwe. The Attorney
General denies the charge.Sources said the state planned to bring forward nine witnesses among
them agents of the spy Central Intelligence Organisation who were on “a
mission to track Gula-Ndebele and Mushore and would testify that the two met
at a Harare restaurant.”High Court Judge Chinembiri Bhunu is chairing the tribunal. Justice
Samuel Kudya and Harare lawyer Lloyd Mhishi are the other members of the
committee.Speculation is widespread in Harare that Gula-Ndebele, considered
among the more liberal minds in the government, is being punished for
aligning himself with a faction of the ruling ZANU PF party led by retired
army general Solomon Mujuru that is said to be behind a rebellion in the
party against Mugabe.It has been suggested that Gula-Ndebele, a brave former army officer,
did not help himself when he constantly clashed with Justice Minister
Patrick Chinamasa in a tussle over control of the AG’s department. –

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