Moving the goal posts

When Roy Bennett was arrested in February last year, President Robert Mugabe announced that he could not swear him in as deputy Minister of Agriculture, nominated by the MDC under the terms of the GPA, as he faced serious allegations.

More than a year later, Bennett has eventually been acquitted by the High Court. It is patently obvious that the charges against him were frivolous to begin with. The charges were designed simply to frustrate his cabinet appointment.

As we all know, Zanu has a lot to hide. The last thing they can afford is one of the victims of its vicious land grab scheme being in a position to expose exactly who has benefited from the process.

Despite the Zanu (PF) mantra that land was transferred to landless blacks, it is a known fact that the majority of Zimbabweans have not benefited by the so-called land reform program. The sole beneficiaries have been the fat cats with Zanu connections.

The deputy minister of agriculture would be in a position to order official farm ownership investigations and expose the exact number of previously landless blacks who have benefited from the process. In the process, and perhaps more importantly, exposing the horde of Zanu bigwigs who have become multiple farm owners through the fraudulent process.

We notice that the Zanu kleptocracy has now raised its voice in denouncing Bennett and suggesting that he should not be appointed deputy minister because of his alleged involvement with Rhodesian security forces over 30 years ago.

That is moving the goal posts. Mugabe never mentioned this in February last year. SADC never mentioned this as a reason why he could not become deputy minister during the establishment of the GPA.

It is worth noting that in Mugabes first cabinet in the early years of independence contained former members of the security forces as well as Smiths ministers who had been directly in control of Rhodesian security forces. What has changed in Bennetts case, or is this a personal vendetta against Bennett because of an incident in parliament involving Patrick Chinamasa? (The two men scuffled in parliament years ago.)

We feel that the appeal against the high court judgement by the partisan Attorney General Johannes Tomana is an abuse of the judicial process calculated to frustrate the appointment of the new deputy Minister of Agriculture.

Now that Bennett has been acquitted he should be sworn in, full stop. The MDC would be mad to agree to call for the lifting of visa and financial restrictions against the Zanu fatcats before the swearing in of Bennett and the settling of the outstanding issues of the GPA. Once the restrictive measures have been lifted the MDC will have no leverage what-so-ever against a recalcitrant Zanu (PF).

Post published in: Editor: Wilf Mbanga

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