Saturday, December 25, 2010

Mugabe looks to pin 'treason' on the opposition. (UPDATED)

When all one has is a hammer... everything looks like an excuse to hammer one's opponents.
Zimbabwe's attorney general plans to set up a commission to investigate possible treason charges against locals over briefings with U.S. diplomats reported in confidential State Department cables released by WikiLeaks.

The move appears to be targeting Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, following state media reports that hawks in President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party wanted an official probe into Tsvangirai's briefings with the U.S. ambassador in Harare.
The very idea that opposing Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF kleptocracy is in any way 'treason' against the nation of Zimbabwe (Rhodesia) is shall-we-say open to dispute... although the medieval definition of 'treason' as an indignity against the person or property of the monarch might fit. Were that to be so in this case, of course, that would simply advertise more widely what is already known; that R. Mugabe and company see the state as their personal property.

I'll say it plainly: In my opinion, conduct by any citizen of that nation that expedites the departure of the Mugabe regime is patriotism.

Update 28.Dec

Professor Jacobson at Legal Insurrection has an article up now about this matter, and has kindly linked here as well.

In a side discussion with him, I realized that there was one small part of all this that readers might not be aware of:

OFAC listed J. Tomana on 21.Dec

TOMANA, Johannes, Office of Attorney General, Private Bag 7714, Causeway, Harare, Zimbabwe; DOB 9 Sep 1967; National ID No. 50-036322F 50 (Zimbabwe); Attorney General (individual) [ZIMBABWE]

Yes, that means the US DEPTTRES OFAC added Johannes Tomana to the SDN (Specially Designated Nationals) list on 21.Dec., placing him specifically under U.S. sanctions.

That predates the report of his actions in the Wikileaks matter by several days. Consider him a motivated actor.


Trochilus said...

As I noted on Legal Insurrection post, perhaps Julian Assange decided to take his "historic lead" from former President Jimmy Carter, who readers may recall was critically instrumental in assuring that the avowed Marxist, Robert Mugabe became the leader of Zimbabwe in the first place, lo those many, many bloody decades ago!

In spite of the fact that Abel Muzorewa had actually won the first democratic election in 1978, Carter and his UN Ambassador Andrew Young, insisted the election required a "do over."

Carter even hosted and toasted the man at the White House in 1980!

It took nearly thirty years -- until 2008 -- for Carter to finally disavow Mugabe and his long reign of terror and genocide, all while persistently criticizing and seeking to undermine numerous United States foreign policy initiatives during each ensuing Republican Administration!

So, Julian Assange has now just ensured the prolongation of the unspeakable suffering that the people of Zimbabwe have already endured for a few generations now, originally brought right to their doorstep by none other than the man from Plains!

L.Douglas Garrett said...


I'd only quibble that there is a substantial difference between indiscriminant mayhem (Assange, now) and deliberate harm (Carter, then).

I doubt J. Assange had the slightest idea or care who else got hurt in his effort to be famous as an America-basher.

(p.s. oh, the Internal Settlement was 1978. The election was 1979. Bishop Muzorewa passed away this last April, Lord rest his soul.)