Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

Commercial Farmers' Union of Zimbabwe

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Tsvangirai hunts 2008 murderers

Tsvangirai hunts 2008 murderers

By Gift Phiri, Senior Writer
Sunday, 15 January 2012 12:56

HARARE – Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC are pushing for the 
murderers of the 2008 political violence to be brought to justice without 
any further delays.

But Attorney-General (AG) Johannes Tomana, whose job it is to prosecute 
these killers, continues to dither and sit on the cases — accusing the MDC 
of cheap electioneering.

The MDC says it is keen to ensure that perpetrators of the 2008 violence are 
jailed to prevent them from committing more atrocities as President Robert 
Mugabe’s Zanu PF desperately tries to use the next poll to overturn its 2008 
electoral defeat.

Churches, civil society and election observer groups largely blame the 2008 
violence on the military, as well as Zanu PF supporters — who were all 
battling to overturn Mugabe’s embarrassing and dramatic defeat in the March 
2008 first round presidential poll.

In that light, the MDC says it wants Tomana to use his constitutional powers 
to force the prosecution of the “murderers” who are still roaming free and 
appear to enjoy police protection.

The party has implored Tomana to invoke Section 76 (4a) of the constitution 
to order the commissioner-general of the police Augustine Chihuri to 
investigate the murders.

The party has also approached the Joint Monitoring and Implementation 
Committee (Jomic), an organ set up under the Global Political Agreement 
(GPA), to monitor the implementation of the power sharing accord.

Deputy Justice and Legal Affairs Minister Obert Gutu, who is also a top 
official in the MDC, says the party will this year exhaustively pursue the 

“The MDC is still pursuing the matter because it goes to the very root of 
foundational concepts of democracy, transparency, accountability and good 
governance,” he said.

“Naturally, the MDC will not rest until such a time that the perpetrators of 
these brutal murders and other heinous crimes are brought to book. As they 
say in Shona, mhosva hairovi (you can not run away from the law). It is a 
fact that no less than 200 MDC activists were brutally murdered between 
March and June, 2008.

That period in time was a reign of terror,” Gutu told the Daily News on 
Sunday yesterday.

Gutu accused Tomana of shielding perpetrators of the 2008 violence, saying 
the AG had been sitting on dossiers containing details of the gruesome 2008 
violence “for ages” without acting.

Tomana denied the charge.

He rubbished the MDC’s concerns, saying the party should follow due process.

Tomana told the Daily News on Sunday that he could not invoke the 
constitutional provisions directing police to investigate the murders when 
the MDC had failed to meet key conditions for that to happen.

“The Attorney General invokes that power where it is very clear before him 
that there is a witness who has cared to actually go all the way to assist 
the police with all the requisite information that is required,” Tomana said 

“I can only invoke that power when they (police) are not doing what they are 
supposed to do for example, this could either be because of corruption in 
the sense of showing favour, or fear because certain threats have been made 
to them or prejudice,” said Tomana.

“Police stations have jurisdictions because an offence that is committed in 
Magunje is reported in Magunje and investigated in Magunje. Now we will then 
check to see whether that report was actually made, what the CR Number is 
and then over and above that we can certify that yes, the IO (investigating 
officer) did less than what  he is supposed to do.

“We refer you to the DisPol (Officer Commanding District). If the DisPol 
doesn’t help, we refer you to the province.

“If they don’t help we find that there is a real responsibility? You go up 
to the PGHQ (Police General Headquarters) itself,” said Tomana, explaining 
the due process necessary before he can act.

In the meantime, MDC secretary-general Tendai Biti has also furnished Jomic 
with a list of the murders that were perpetrated against MDC supporters in 

Zimbabwe has struggled to regain stability ever since and tensions have been 
rising again ahead of another election, to be held possibly next year.

“The MDC implores you to ensure that the Zimbabwe Republic Police are made 
to enforce the rule of law by causing the arrest and prosecution of the 
perpetrators of these murders,” Biti wrote to Jomic national coordinator 
Patience Chiradza.

“It is inexcusable that almost three years after the perpetration of these 
murders; absolutely nothing has been done by the police to arrest those who 
committed the murders.”

Police spokesman Oliver Mandipaka declined to comment saying Jomic must 
answer the questions since the MDC had chosen to write to them.

“They have written to Jomic. I cannot answer for Jomic,” Mandipaka told the 
Daily News on Sunday. “He (Biti) will get his answers from Jomic.”

Biti’s letter was copied to co-Home Affairs ministers Theresa Makone and 
Kembo Mohadi as well as Justice and Legal Affairs minister Patrick 

The letter further quotes a speech made by Vice President Joice Mujuru at 
the Celebration Centre in Harare on December 7, in 2010.

“If you are out there and you kill in the name of Zanu PF, the law will 
catch up with you because an offence (once) committed should be brought to 
justice,” Mujuru is quoted saying at the Celebration Centre in the letter.

“Zanu PF won’t protect you. We don’t want to be a country known for murder 
and harassment.”

Said Biti in his letter: “Indeed, Vice President Mujuru acknowledged in 
December 2010 that Zanu PF supporters had committed  murders in 2008.”

Attached to Biti’s letter was a letter to Tomana written by the MDC director 
of security and intelligence, Chris Dhlamini, containing the names, 
districts, dates and summaries of 2008 murders and other violent activities.

“Villages, particulars and locations where the deaths occurred can be 
supplied by the MDC leadership in respective districts given in the said 
document,” Dhlamini’s letter to Tomana says.

“The deaths occurred in 2008, over a period of time extending from April 
2008 to December 2008. We will forward to you any further reports from our 
members as they come.

Information available suggests that the deceased were murdered, by, in some 
cases people who the deceased’s relatives and neighbours will be able to 
identify or name,” the letter reads.

The MDC intelligence supremo says in his letter to Tomana that reports in 
some cases were made to the local police stations but the report references 
were not given to the informants.

“The police have not gone back to the informants/relatives to inform them of 
the levels of achievements in their efforts to deal with the said matters in 
accordance with the law,” reads the letter.

Suspected Zanu PF supporters, war veterans and intelligence officers were 
accused of carrying a retribution exercise against perceived MDC backers in 
Mashonaland Central and East in the run up to the June 2008 presidential 

Tsvangirai pulled out of the run-off days before polling, citing massive 
violence and intimidation against his supporters.

Mugabe went ahead with the poll widely condemned as a sham and installed 
himself as the winner of the one-man election.

Sadc leaders, led by former South African President Thabo Mbeki, however 
intervened and forced a political pact leading to the formation of the 
inclusive government.


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