Jonathan Moyo, a Zanu PF politburo member, is agitating for the arrest of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his key official, Jameson Timba, on allegations they undermined President Robert Mugabe.
Moyo said Tsvangirai and Timba, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, had allegedly violated Section 33 of the Criminal Code Section 33, which prohibits the undermining of the authority of the President or insulting the Head of State and Government.
The former Information minister was responding to public statements by the PM to the effect that the President lied about the outcome of the recent Sadc Extraordinary Summit held in South Africa.
“I strongly believe that it is high time that the law should take its course. It is totally unacceptable for Tsvangirai and Jameson Timba to call Cde Mugabe a liar,” Moyo told the national broadcaster on Tuesday.
“Who is Tsvangirai? He is just a senior minister and Timba a junior minister who is known for spearheading and mobilising funds for independent media under the three million pounds project sponsored by the West.”
Moyo added: “This kind of behaviour whereby they are sponsoring the private media to attack the President should come to an end before it is too late.”
The national broadcaster said its “sources” in the Attorney-General’s (AG) Office had said such “utterances” by Tsvangirai and Timba were “a violation of the law and a serious offence that can result in prosecution”.
But Moyo’s efforts yesterday appeared to be hitting a brick wall after the AG, Johannes Tomana, said anyone riled by the alleged comments should not jump the gun but should, instead, follow the proper channels such as reporting to the police first before involving the AG’s Office.
“I have seen it on TV as you have also done. If people see an offence being committed they should take action. They have the right to effect arrest. If they cannot, they should report to the police,” Tomana told NewsDay in an interview yesterday.
“Why are we being involved at the beginning and not at the end?” Tomana asked.
“They should know which police station to go to. Everybody has a constitutional obligation to uphold the laws of this country. If anybody sees that the laws of the country are being violated, they have an obligation to act.”
Tomana said those angered by Tsvangirai and Timba’s statements had a constitutional obligation to act on the alleged violations of the law.
“It’s not right to act as if they don’t have an obligation,” Tomana said. “Those that see that there is an offence should act. Everybody has an obligation to see that the law is enforced.”
Tsvangirai reportedly told his party supporters at the weekend that President Mugabe was too old to lie in the manner he did about the outcome of the just-ended Sadc Extraordinary Summit.
President Mugabe’s officials in government and Zanu PF and the State media claim the Livingstone Troika resolutions were rejected at last week’s meeting in South Africa.
“The problem is that people like lies and evade the truth. An old man (President Mugabe) is lying about what happened in South Africa. President Mugabe was there with his delegation and I was also there with my own delegation and he should not lie to us about what happened,” Tsvangirai said on Sunday while addressing more than 10 000 MDC-T supporters who thronged Mkoba Stadium in Gweru.
“Some lies are self-defeating. The resolution was very clear on Zimbabwe.”
Timba, on the other hand, told diplomats: “. . . what is clear is that Zanu PF is in denial. How can they say that they are happy with (South African) President (Jacob) Zuma’s report to the main summit and unhappy with the Livingstone report, when the Livingstone report was incorporated into the Sandton one?” asked Timba.
“Zanu PF hates Livingstone because Livingstone stopped them from railroading Zimbabweans into a bloody, violent election. They hate President Zuma because he has fractured the single voice of solidarity with a tyrannical leader in favour of solidarity with the people of Zimbabwe.”