Roy Bennett Must Be Withdrawan - That's What Mugabe Wants

This was Mutare Prison this afternoon, where friends of Roy Bennett had gathered in anticipation of his release. But the Attorney General was given leave to appeal the High Court decision to give Bennett Bail at the Supreme Court. The Deputy Minister of Agriculture nominee stays in jail indefinitely now

In a stunning show of contempt for the law, two Senior Prison Wardens confiscated Roy Bennett's  release papers and ran away with them last night just as Bennett was stepping out of his prison cell into what he though was freedom. 

Yup, they swiped those papers and ran! The net result was that there was nothing for Bennett to sign and without the papers in their hands, the prison officials at Mutare Prison could not release the prisoner.

This gave the Attorney General enough time to have his case heard at the Supreme Court and the decision which keeps Bennett in jail was handed down late this afternoon. Supreme Court Judge Paddington Garwe said he was granting the AG's request because there is a reasonable chance of success for the state in its bid to have Bennett denied bail.

It would be funny if were not so tragic.

It means that Bennett, who actually briefly left his cell on his way to freedom last night before the Prison officials did a runner with his release papers, will remain in jail while the appeal process goes ahead.

And this is where the war of attrition now starts. This thing will be dragged out for months. I am taking bets on how many postponements the prosecution will ask for "in order to make further investigations". 

UNLESS, OF COURSE, Tsvangirai decides to appease Mugabe and withdraw Bennett's nomination for Deputy Minister of Agriculture. 

It is now very clear what the real reason behind the arrest of Bennett is: Mugabe considers it an insult to have to swear the man into the office of Deputy Minister of Agriculture. And I am sure that unless and until Morgan Tsvangirai agrees to withdraw Bennett's nomination for the Agriculture ministry, the MDC Treasurer-General is in for the Long-haul.

Bennett himself lost his only farm in Manicaland Province to Mugabe's Land Reform "programme". Mugabe hates him and what he represents to him. I think we can be certain that, unless the demand is met, Bennett will probably stay in jail right up to the end of this Inclusive Government.

It boggles the mind: it appears Mugabe believes this issue is so big that he is willing to let Zimbabwe burn for on its account. What country on earth is going to give aid to a Zimbabwe in which things like this are happening?

The world said it was waiting to see if Mugabe has turned a new leaf, before they came in with any assistance. Mugabe's response is to spit in their face.

So, yesterday, Barack Obama extended the sanctions against Zimbabwe for another year.

The EU has already added to the sanctions and is looking for even more ways to fix Mugabe.

African countries (the Southern African Development Community (SADC) specifically) have also not coughed up anything, saying instead they will talk to lenders and encourage them to lend money to Zimbabwe.

The African Development Bank responded by saying Zimbabwe owed them money and they would only even think about a further loan after they have been paid what has been due for years. The IMF says the same thing. 

Zimbabwe's debt is estimated at around US$5 billion. 

So I think it is fair to say that this new government is already dead. On the day that Morgan Tsvangirai called for "the removal of all restrictive measures against Zimbabwe", the Americans responded by extending the same.

This country can not be turned around without outside help, even if that comes only in the form of credit lines. At the rate Mugabe and Tsvangirai are going, it will be a freezing day in hell before a hand of assistance is extended Zimbabwe's way.


  1. The imposition of sanctions on Zimbabwe by the USA and the EU has nothing to do with all that they claim, human rights , democracy, rule of law, etc. Those are mere smokescreens. ZIDERA clearly states that it wants Land allocation partern to revert back to the pre 2000 era. It is all about land, forget about the suppressing of dissent, election this or election that. We have come a long way and we are very much aware of their machinations.
    We are now told that arrests will make it difficult for donors to give the desperately required aid.If the conditions of the donor aid are that, we do not have to respect our own laws, our constitution, we should not arrest offenders, especially if they are of a certain political affilliation,or race, then that aid is dirty. It is not given in good faith. Its purpose is to undermine our sovereignty. It threatens and is an affront to our democracy, our political aspirations and the vision we have for our country.It is some form of corruption, Bribery or Extortion, for one to say I will pay you this in aid or grants if you release so and so. To pay so that in return one gets an undeserved favour. It exhibits high levels of moral decay.
    David Butau former MP for Guruve North, another fugitive from justice was recently arrested at the airport, and contrary to Bennet's arrest, there is completely dead silence from all the traditional noise makers. Is it because his name, race and political affilliation is not associated with dirty donor money.
    Many countries are failing or not willing to help Zimbabwe, not because of Zim's politics or policies, or what some media practitioners want us to believe. It is because their own countries are failing or struggling to sustain their own economies, businesses and peoples.
    In the UK's Daily Mail The Bank of England has been given permission to 'print money' £150 billion to pump into the economy in a desperate bid to avert a full scale recession. This is the first time to take such a move in its 300 year history. This alone tells us how teribly bad the situation is with the biggest and strongest economies.
    Zimbabwe's insistance to have their laws abided by, by all races should not hamper any bona fide aid.We are told in Bennet's case that so and so Prison Officer took the Warrant of Liberation and ran away with it, defying the High Court, defence lawyers tell us. No Sir! we still retain to an extent some ability to think independently, we also think outside the box. The truth we now know is an appeal was noted with the Supreme court immediately, and the Supreme court had to sit late on Wednesday where Justice Paddington Garwe had to request for written arguments from Defence lawyers and State lawyers, which were later submitted, resulting in the decision on Thursday by Justice Paddington Garwe granting the State leave to appeal. Once an appeal has been noted, any previous judgement or order will be suspended, magistrates in Mutare might not have known that. The Prison authorities have the right to verify any warrant of liberation with the relevant authorities, before signing it.Surprisingly no journalist has bothered to ask the said Prison Officers about their actions who are said to have ran away with the necessary documents for release. They all have their names, they know them and they can find them.They want us to believe their half baked stories.
    No one should be above the law, white,black, MDC, Zanu PF, Mavambo, farmer or no farmer. The law should be allowed to take its full course, and should operate independently, independent from donor organisations, politics and without any pressure from any racial groups.


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