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Was treason trial necessary?

I AM sure that all Zimbabweans join me in breathing a sigh of relief that MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s treason trial ended in a just judgement.

But it leaves a

few questions begging. Was it necessary to subject him and the nation to such a long drawn-out case on such flimsy grounds?

The cost to both sides cannot be justified under the circumstances. The acting Attorney General should be made to answer to parliament for the cost incurred by the taxpayer.

If Tsvangirai had attempted to eliminate President Mugabe before the 2002 election, it would have been clearly treason as Mugabe was the undisputed legitimate president of the country.

But for (acting Attorney General) Bharat Patel, Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa, the investigators and the state witnesses to pursue this case, trying to get a conviction on spurious charges, may yet prove to be actionable when the true results of the presidential election are known. And they will be known one day.

The second treason charge brought against the MDC president is based on events well after the disputed election results. Surely, the first case to resolve is the presidential election petition to determine who is our legitimate president.

How can Tsvangirai be charged for committing an “act of treason” against an illegitimate president? This is a case of putting the cart before the horse.

In short, the likes of Patel, Chinamasa and investigating officers should think carefully before they embark on vindictive actions that may lead them to the dock, instead of their target, as history unfolds.

This is true too for all the Zanu PF hierarchy. They are playing a very dangerous game which they may be winning in the short-term, but what of the long-term?

Do they want to spend their last days in jail?

Once the African Union and United Nations are involved there will be no amnesty as it will be out of Zimbabweans’ hands. The MDC is still talking about reconciliation and not pursuing retribution.

If those in Zanu PF who have committed crimes – which most have – want to enjoy their freedom, it can only come about through dialogue with the MDC before change is forced on them.

It seems now is an opportune time for Zanu PF to avail themselves of the goodwill that still exists and pursue dialogue to settle the political impasse. I pray they are big enough to do this.

A McCormick,


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