COMMENT: Travesty of justice

Mtetwa consulting with her client Hopewell Chin'ono


Interesting times in Zimbabwe. A journalist does his job by investigating corruption in the corridors of power and the results are there for everyone to see. A Cabinet minister is arrested and fired and a  business associate of the president’s son is also arraigned before the courts.

Instead of praising the scribe, Hopewell Chin’ono, for a job well done, he is incarcerated, not in remand prison as he has not been convicted yet, but in Chikurubi Maximum Prison, shackled in leg irons and in a wing where hardened criminals like rapists and murderers call home.

His “partner-in-crime” Mduduzi Mathuthu has been in hiding for the past three weeks. Zimbabwe’s security goons have been using all sorts of dirty tactics under the sun after failing to find him, including arresting his sister, who has absolutely nothing to do with what his brother writes, as bait!

Then we have information secretary saying relatives who do not disclose the whereabouts of their fugitive kith and kin will be arrested for obstructing justice.

What if they don’t genuinely know, Mr Secretary? Under which law?

To make matters worse for Chin’ono, his lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa, has been barred from representing him on spurious allegations she has been posting comments on a matter that is sub-judice. May someone out there please educate these politicised magistrates that there is something called Internet Protocol. It is the address of every gadget that is used to post anything on the worldwide web.

That is why gangsters and thieves use library or internet cafe computers so they cannot be traced.

If indeed Mtetwa did post any comments on a case in which she is one of the major players, which we doubt, a simple search will produce an IP address linked to the learned lady.

On that score alone, the State’s case will crumble like a deck of cards.

We do not believe our courts are  manned by dimwits who do not really understand the law but they are be beneficiaries of a corrupt system and will pander to the whims of their benefactors, irrespective of how ridiculous they may be.

They are doing this to prolong Chin’ono’s illegitimate stay in prison, frustrate the lawyer who is trying to get him out as well as soil her impeccable image. Zimbabweans know what Mtetwa, as a lawyer, has done to build such an image. No matter how much mud the system can through at her, she will emerge with her reputation intact.

The same, however, cannot be said about those in the system, some of whom would make jailed rapist cleric Robert Gumbura look like a virgin.


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