By Ndafadza Madanha
GOVERNMENT will not bow to demands for it to order the release of journalist cum political activist Hopewell Chin’ono and Transform Zimbabwe president Jacob Ngarivhume who are facing charges of incitement to commit public violence.
According to Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Cde Ziyambi Ziyambi the arrest of the duo is a matter for the judiciary to deal with in line with the separation of powers doctrine espoused by the constitution.
Minister Ziyambi said the country has three arms of state and each should be allowed to discharge its constitutional obligations without undue interference from another arm.
Since the arrest of Chin’ono and Ngarivhume some quarters in particular western embassies and civil society organisations have called for the “immediate release” of the duo accusing Government of trying to muzzle the activists' so called “anti-corruption crusade”.
However Cde Ziyambi said the Government as the executive arm of the state cannot interfere in the operations of the Judiciary and the activists will have their day in court.
“I believe that we have separation of powers. We have the Parliament, the Executive and the Judiciary. They all have their own roles to play.
I believe everyone agrees that each and every arm of Government must be given its own space; having said that, the said individuals, I am not aware that they were arrested for speaking out against corruption.
They have allegations that have been levelled against them. It is up to the courts, as an independent arm of the State, to deal with those issues and it will not be proper for me to start commenting in that regard”.
Cde Ziyambi also dismissed the notion that Chin’ono and Ngarivhume were arrested to thwart their anti-corruption drive as authorities are already investigating and have made arrests in respect of some cases allegedly exposed by the activists.
“I am not sure where the assertion that the Government does not have an appetite to fight corruption is coming from. Even in the case in which he is referring to, he is saying that the so-called journalist exposed; the Anti-Corruption Commission was already investigating and the said individuals were arrested. Beyond that, I do not know what he expects the Executive to do. Suffice to say that at this juncture, I would not want to comment on issues that are before the courts. Let us allow the various arms of the State to do their duty”.