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Zimbabwe: Abuse of Power

(Jan. 2, 2008) As reported by the Associated Press on December 16, 2007, President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe has suspended Sobusa Gula-Ndebele from his post as the attorney general in connection with a case of a fugitive banker who is wanted for alleged currency offenses. Mugabe also formed a tribunal to investigate the attorney general. The attorney general has allegedly met secretly with the banker, who had been in Britain, at a restaurant in Zimbabawe and told him that he would be spared from criminal charges. The tribunal is expected to make a recommendation to Mugabe on whether Gula-Ndebele should be re-instated to his position.

It has been reported that although the attorney general has not openly criticized the government, he has refused to approve politically motivated prosecutions. Several top bankers and corporate executives have recently been accused of currency crimes and fled the country. It is alleged that the charges have been designed to silence individuals who have been openly critical of the government's economic policies. These policies have been blamed for soaring inflation and shortages of basic necessities. It is therefore suspected that the suspension and investigation of the attorney general might also be politically motivated. (Zimbabwe Attorney General Suspended, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, Dec. 16, 2007.)