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State threatens crackdown

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ATTORNEY-GENERAL Johannes Tomana yesterday threatened a crackdown on perceived saboteurs of State interests, saying police and security agents would henceforth dump tolerance.

Report by Mernat Mafirakurewa

He said law enforcement agents would come hard on perceived economic saboteurs and warned “things are now going to be done differently” in as far as law enforcement and security was concerned.

“If we truly want this country to experience this hope that we are a secure country, an orderly country,  a developing country, we need to upgrade our law enforcement and I want to share with you that from the security side, from the law enforcement side of this country, things are now going to be done differently.  That level of tolerance is now suspended. I wish to advise accordingly,” said a stern-faced Tomana.

The AG was addressing guests at a breakfast meeting in Harare when he made a belated response to a question raised at the recent diamond indaba in Victoria Falls.

A delegate had questioned if the country did not have laws to punish people that made remarks such as those made against Zimbabwe’s Marange diamonds, which resulted in the international community questioning the cleanliness of the gems.

“We actually as a country have more than enough laws to protect
us against all forms of violations against our interests . . . that is the right to life, for example . . . you can’t be killed and that person gets away with it . . .”

“Our economy is protected by the way. Anybody who threatens our economic interests violates the law and the laws are there. Anybody who threatens our security interests as a nation is violating the law and we have those laws,” said Tomana.

“Why do we not seem to see those laws stopping what is clearly a demonstrable offence against those interests?
“Let me tell you straight on: In trying to be tolerant, there has been a very tolerant manner of response to crime in this country.”

The tough-talking Tomana singled out pro-democracy civic society groups for allegedly violating the country’s security laws and making offensive statements under the banner of democracy.

“For the record, I am sure you remember particularly those from civic society, they have gone on record to actually say those laws that protect us are bad laws and because they are bad laws, they can be ignored and that is the reason why you would see people violating those laws in the name of democracy, the right to do those things that violate the law.”

Tomana has in the past warned that people implicated in the United States diplomatic cables leaked on whistleblowing website WikiLeaks as having called for or encouraged the imposition of sanctions against Zimbabwe would be investigated and if found guilty, would be charged with treason.

The AG even set up a committee of lawyers to investigate those implicated, but up to now, nothing has been heard of that committee or its findings.

Tomana has also openly declared his allegiance to Zanu PF, raising the ire of other political players who argue that as AG, such a stance would make him politically biased in the execution of his duties.

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