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Minister disowns AG’s Office

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Justice and Legal Affairs deputy minister Obert Gutu says he is ashamed of being associated with the Attorney-General (AG)’s Office, accusing it of bias in handling political cases.

Gutu, an MDC-T Senator, made the remarks in a telephone interview and in a post on the social network Facebook on Wednesday.

“Politically, you can see that if the AG’s office is dealing with a matter of members from a certain political party, there is an ulterior hand influencing the officers, leading to them invoking section 121 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act to keep them in custody,” he said.

“Although the junior officers are competent and cognisant of the fact that what they were doing was not professional, they cannot help, as they are being instructed from above and if they don’t obey they are in trouble,” he said.

“As the Deputy Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs in the Republic of Zimbabwe, I am thoroughly embarrassed to be associated with a justice delivery system that is biased, corrupt and politically influenced.”

He accused the AG’s Office of operating like a commissariat of a political party.

Gutu posted his Facebook message under the title “Free Cynthia Manjoro and 23 other Glen View residents NOW!”

Manjoro (26) is one of the 23 MDC-T activists from Glen View, Harare, who have been in custody for the past two months over the alleged murder of a police officer, Petros Mutedza, in May. Gutu said his ministry had set up an anti-corruption unit to investigate reports of corruption received from the public.

Attorney-General Johannes Tomana could not be reached for comment on Wednesday as his personal assistant insisted he was out of the office and was not sure when he would be back.

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