• Roy Bennett To Get Another Trumped-up Charge

    Roy Bennett, seen here on his release from prison on March 12 this year, is set to have another set of charges levelled against him. This time, he will be accused of dabbling in illegally dealing in diamonds from the Marange Diamond Field in Manicaland, his home province.


    Harare, Zimbabwe, 09 August 2009

    Roy Bennett is having another case cooked up for him by ZANU PF in order to ensure that he goes to jail.

    So determined is ZANU PF on the matter that even today, in article discussing the "outstanding issues", state media mentions that there has been agreement on Ambassadors and governors to be sworn in but makes no mention whatsoever of Roy Bennett.

    The case being cooked up against Bennett is as follows:

    The state will allege that Bennett, who is from Manicaland province, was an "illegal diamond mining baron". Patently false witnesses have been lined up to give depositions that Bennett hired and employed several diamond miners (makorokoza) at the Marange Diamond Field.

    It is being (or will be) alleged that these small-scale miners of Zimbabwe's "blood diamonds" were contractually obliged to sell the diamonds they panned to Bennett.

    Bennett is accused of then spiriting the diamonds from Zimbabwe using a private jet much like the one on which he was arrested in February this year at Charles Prince Airport in Harare, Zimbabwe as he prepared to fly to South Africa.

    As one source close to these machinations confirmed to me, the idea is to ensure that if, by some chance, Bennett is acquitted at his forthcoming trial, he would then be immediately re-arrested on the steps of the High Court (or Supreme Court) on these new charges.

    Driving this new strategy is the fear that Jacob Zuma may well put Mugabe on the spot and ensure the swearing-in of Roy Bennett. If that happens, the so-called "hardliners" want to ensure that, even if sworn in, Bennett will actually never be able to claim an office until the Coalition Government is disbanded.

    As Deputy PM Mutambara said Mugabe told him, "Bennett will not be acquitted."

    There is also a propaganda angle to all this as well, apparently.

    That angle would be to "tell" the world that MDC-T is as corrupt as ZANU PF, that by calling for Mugabe to go, the West simply wants to put a new corrupt crowd whose corruption would be to the advantage of the "white man".

    This is in addition to the obvious hatred and bigotry that is driving the persecution of Roy Bennett, a commercial farmer.

    I expect the "witnesses" have been paid off but when they do come up with their statements, it would be interesting to see if the defence lawyers actually dig deep enough to establish whether any of the so-called witnesses ever actually worked the Marange Diamond fields as panners or small-scale miners.

    These are the sorts of small details that the people in ZANU PF, in their plotting, end up missing and it should be an interesting angle to pursue, certainly.

    Still, ten days into August, we are yet to hear of the fulfilment of the GPA on Bennett. Tsvangirai was defeated on the ambassadors, being given only four posts that had been vacant anyway. He was defeated by Mugabe on the Permanent Secretaries, who remained in their posts even after Tsvangirai had initially dismissed them as "null and void."

    It turns out, as the Independent of South Africa reports, even the consolations of Principal Director posts that MDC-T had been given have also not been appointed yet. Tsvangirai apparently complained to Zuma about this when he paid a call on him last week to brief him ahead of the visit to South Africa by Hilary Clinton, US Secretary of State.


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