Attorney-General’s views are primitive – Madhuku
THREATS to prosecute people debating the expiry of Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri’s term of office have no basis at law and doing so is stifling freedom of expression, legal experts said yesterday.
The experts accused Attorney-General Johannes Tomana of attempting to silence people from discussing issues of national importance.
Tomana last week described as “illegal” calls for Chihuri to step down and threatened to prosecute media practitioners and those in the inclusive government who were saying the police chief’s term of office expired on January 31.
Constitutional lawyer Professor Lovemore Madhuku said discussing the expiry of Chihuri’s term of office does not in any way undermine the Constitution or the work of the police force.
“Tomana expressed a very primitive view which we do not expect from the government’s top lawyer,” he said. “I think he was misquoted because such a view would mean that any debate in a democracy becomes a criminal act.”
Tomana told the state media that it was only President Robert Mugabe who had the power to appoint a Commissioner-General, arguing Chihuri’s case was about reappointment, not appointment which requires consultation as stipulated in the Global Political Agreement.
But Madhuku said there was no conceptual difference between an appointment and a reappointment.
Madhuku said Tomana should desist from threatening people who debate Chihuri’s term of office.
“Tomana can threaten and arrest people, but the fortunate thing is that it is not him but the courts which decide whether a person is guilty or not. No person will ever be convicted for discussing such an issue,” he said.
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