Jestina Released Or Has She?

It comes as a great relief to hear that Beatrice Mtetwa worked through Christmas Eve to secure the release of Jestina Mukoko and her fellow abductees, who had been remanded in custody until Monday, 29 December 2008.

Although not being freed, it looks as though the abductees will be able to at least see their families and spend time with them, albeit in hospital.

Upon hearing of the torture to extract confessions that Jestina Mukoko and other alleged conspirators in the trumped-up "insurgency" case suffered, a Harare High Court judge immediately ordered the release of Mukoko and others with her into Avenues Clinic and under police guard.

The dirty little rag that passes for a national newspaper in Zimbabwe, the Herald, says that they have already been released into the Clinic's care. Which is a surprise, considering Mugabe's legendary contempt for the decisions of his own courts, unless they agree with him.

The '"detainees" will remain at the Avenues Clinic until 29 December, the date on which they are due back in court to face the charges levelled against them by Robert Mugabe's "government". While there, the judge has ordered that they get access to their lawyers and their blood relatives. I fully expect Mugabe to try and pull a fast one, refusing to comply, perhaps, and ordering the police and his new Attorney General to refer the judges to the president if they had anything to say about it. He has done it before.

If he does not do so, then we can be certain that SADC is applying quiet pressure in the background, something Jakaya Kikwete did just over a week ago when he phoned Mugabe immediately after Elliot Manyika's funeral.

Still, as I wish all of you a restful Christmas, I can't help wondering what government these abductees are said to have wanted to overthrow, since, even by ZANU PF's own admission, there is no legitimate government in Zimbabwe.

Chinamasa was on TV a couple of weeks ago saying that the current ministers are "caretaker ministers". So, squatters, then? 

Anyway, for what it is worth, here's wishing the abductees, their families, all of you and your families and friends a somewhat merry Christmas.


  1. Thank you for keeping us up to date, Den.

    I know that I have sent a number of emails to the South African Authorities regarding the abduction of Jestina and I am quite sure that I am not the only one, so I do think that it has been through pressure applied that we have seen ZANU-PF backtrack on this one. So keep it up guys.

    Let's face it, after having said that they are not holding her, the fact that they have had to produce her in court must represent an humiliating climbdown.

    However, before we pat ourselves on the back, remember that Mugabe always gets revenge for any setbacks that he suffers and I fully expect him to take revenge against Jestina and her fellow abductees.

    However, I would like to wish you and all your fellow Zimbabweans a merry and peaceful Christmas, much as I realise such a state of mind will be difficult to attain within Zimbabwe.

  2. And Merry Christmas to you and yours, Dave.

    Yes indeed, Mugabe has a well-known trick he uses, release people if a court so orders, but then immediately re-arrest them on the steps of the courthouse.

    The MDC, as you know, has had plenty experience of this.

    I don't know if you see now why Mugabe is seriously pursuing a SoE. It would remove the inconvenience of justice from his to-do list. He is pursuing this, make no mistake about it.

    Just as he accepted the referendum result and then came out viciously against the farmers, so it will be here. And we are all in the firing line.

    Who needs Bahgdad?!!

    Merry Christmas!


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