(Last Updated on October 18, 2022 by ZIMDAILY EDITOR)
Let us just imagine this scenario for a moment.I come out openly confessing to the unresolved brutal murder of a person, which I perpetrated two decades or so ago – whilst, in the process, pleading for forgiveness for this heinous criminal act.
What will happen to me next?
Will my confession and apology merely make news headlines for a day or so – with the general populace praising me for ‘doing the right thing by coming out in the open’, and my crimes being forgiven and forgotten?
Or, should I expect law enforcement agents descending heavily on my residence, immediately arresting me, and being hauled before the courts of law to face justice?
Yesterday, as I was going through local news reports, the same thoughts came to my mind – when I encountered a supposed ‘confession and apology’ issued by former MDC Member of Parliament (MP) for Masvingo Urban Tongai Matutu – ostensibly, on his and fellow opposition members’ part in ‘inviting sanctions against Zimbabwe’.
Let me hasten to mention that, Matutu has since defected to the ruling ZANU PF party – and, this should put everything he says into clear context.
In an open letter directed to the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, and the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Matutu claimed that he and other members of the opposition had made several visits to the US to plead for the renewal of sanctions.
He even went further by calling for the establishment of a commission of inquiry to ‘bring to book all those who campaigned for sanctions to be imposed on Zimbabwe’.
Wow, those are bold words from a bold man!
Am I to believe that, in so doing, he is also begging to be ‘brought to book’ for his confessed role in what he termed ‘sanctions on Zimbabwe’ – which most of us know as mere travel bans, assets freezes and trade restrictions on only 73 individuals and 37 entities accused of gross human rights abuses, and grand corruption?
Will the nation be seeing, any time soon, Matutu presenting himself to his nearest police station, in order to be booked and brought before a competent court of law?
In fact, since he was noble enough to expose his role – there is no need to wait for the suggested establishment of any ‘commission of inquiry’, on account of his confessed actions already in violation of the law, and undeniably criminal.
According to the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, Section 31(a)ii – it is considered an offence on ‘any person who, whether inside or outside Zimbabwe, publishes or communicates to any other person a statement which is wholly or materially false with the intention or realizing that there is a real risk or possibility of adversely affecting the defence or economic interests of Zimbabwe’.Similar, Section 31(b)ii(B) says, ‘any person who, whether inside or outside Zimbabwe, with or without the intention or realization referred to in paragraph (a), publishes or communicates to any other person a statement which is wholly or materially false and which he or she does not have reasonable grounds for believing to be true; shall, if the publication or communication of the statement adversely affects the defence and economic interests of Zimbabwe, be guilty of publishing and communicating a false statement prejudicial to the State and liable to a fine up to or exceeding level fourteen or imprisonment for a period not exceeding twenty years or both’.
As such, if the government of Zimbabwe, and all its sycophants who incessantly peddle this yarn of ‘sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe that have crippled the economy’, are honest in their laughable wild claims – why not utilize this law against those accused of ‘inviting’ these restrictive measures (under reasons alleged to be false, such human rights abuses and rampant corruption)?
In fact, to exhibit this seriousness, and utter disdain of these sanctions – as we are repeatedly made to believe – why not start with those who have already voluntarily confessed to their ‘crimes’?
We have already heard those who have claimed to have been paid millions of US dollars for their role in this ‘sinister plot’ – what became of them?
Were they brought to book?
If not, why are they still freely walking the streets of Zimbabwe – yet, having openly confessed to committing what is portrayed by the political elite as the ‘ultimate sin of calling for measures that have damaged our economy’?
Instead of wasting time and making nonsensical noises about the so-called ‘Patriotic Act’ – why, if these foolish accusations are real, have the authorities not used what we already have in our statute books?
Does this not show that there is really no case for anyone, whether in the opposition or not, to answer as far as these travel bans, assets freezes and trade restrictions on only 73 individuals and 37 entities are concerned?
Since, no one has ever been able to prove beyond any reasonable doubt, with incontrovertible traceable evidence (save for the often regurgitated generalizations and outlandish claims) how these limited measures have brought a country as richly-endowed as Zimbabwe to its knees – we can safely put to rest all this crazy talk about sanctions.
I am most glad and grateful, though, that even President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa – in his address to a gathering of his ruling ZANU PF party supporters in Mutasa South yesterday – made it abundantly and unequivocally clear that there were no longer any sanctions by the EU (European Union) on anyone in Zimbabwe.
I will certainly keep that in mind.
• Tendai Ruben Mbofana is a social justice activist, writer, researcher, and social commentator. Please feel free to contact him on WhatsApp or Call: +263715667700 | +263782283975, or Calls Only: +263788897936