Zimbabwe: Opposition MPs Confront Ziyambi Over Selective Application of Law

By Anna Chibamu
Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi has denied opposition claims there was selective application of the law in the country.

Opposition MPs Wednesday accused government of arbitrary arrests and detentions on critics.

During Wednesday’s question and answer session, opposition MPs said the new Emmerson Mnangagwa-led administration was worse than the previous regime regarding arrests, detentions and convictions of opposition members.

Independent Norton MP Temba Mliswa said during Thursday’s question and answer session in parliament the state was victimising individuals thought to be hostile to government.

“The question is about selective application of the law,” he said.

“The recent judgment by Justice Tawanda Chitapi who even said that Prosecutor General (PG) Kumbirai Hodzi must go back to law school.

“It is there in the public domain. For a judge to issue such a statement talks about failure by PG’s office to conduct duties.”

Chitapi said in December last year that Hodzi had bungled a high-profile robbery case and as such, needed to go back to law school to acquaint himself with the country’s statutes.

Said Mliswa, “I am a victim of victimisation. I have been arrested 76 times and acquitted 76 times. Any system with so many acquittals over one person must be re-examined from police,” said Mliswa.

The outspoken lawmaker also told Speaker Jacob Mudenda it was improper for the state apparatus to be used to settle personal scores.

His comments came after Magwegwe MP, Anele Ndebele had asked Ziyambi on why government was clamping down on dissenting voices.

Ziyambi dismissed Ndebele and Mliswa’s claims saying there was no selective application of the law against any citizen.

He said government’s different departments were following due process regarding issues of arrests and prosecution.

“Bring statistics to indicate that all the activists that were arrested were eventually acquitted which amounts to victimisation.

“We have checks and balances in our systems so as to allow the police, prosecutors and judges to follow due process of the law,” said the Zanu PF official.

Ziyambi added, “Be happy that there are some cases that are being fast tracked and a conviction or otherwise is given.”

MDC Alliance MP Joanna Mamombe and fellow party youth activist Cecilia Chimbiri have been denied bail several times after being incarcerated at Chikurubi Maximum Prison on allegations of violating Covid-19 regulations.

Last week, political activist Makomborero Haruzivishe was convicted and sentenced to 14 months imprisonment for inciting public violence.

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