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Zimbabwe Wikileaks probe on

by Staff reporter
21 Jul 2014 at 08:11hrs | 3055 Views
Investigations into the WikiLeaks saga, that saw government ministers and senior Zanu-PF officials quoted by United States diplomats speaking ill of President Robert Mugabe, are still on, Prosecutor General Johannes Tomana confirmed on Sunday.

Tomana set up a team of lawyers in 2011 when he was Attorney General to assist him authenticate and give an independent legal opinion on whether Zimbabweans, among them ministers and Zanu-PF bigwigs, who privately communicated state secrets with the US diplomats committed an offence.

Tomana, now the Prosecutor-General, on Sunday said investigations were still on, but could not state at what stage they were because it could 'jeopardise' the process.

"I cannot discuss any investigations in the press, allow us to do our job without outside influence," he said.

"Such issues are of a security nature and we treat them as such."

WikiLeaks in November 2010 began publishing a cache of secret diplomatic cables dispatched from US embassies worldwide to the State Department in Washington.

From Zimbabwe, top politicians and senior government officials were alleged to have forwarded state secrets to US diplomats under cover of dark, while during day time condeming their relations with Washington.

As a way to establish whether there was a case or not, Tomana assembled a team of lawyers to assist him study the cables and give a legal opinion and direction for any further action by the state.

The team was supposed to give him the findings by March 2011.

The cables on Zimbabwe quoted several Zimbabweans in secret conversations with US embassy officials and the legal team was to probe whether or not there was a conspiracy to undermine national security or commit treason.

According to top government sources, a preliminary report has indicated that it would be difficult for the state to take the case forward as some of the people involved "would be reluctant to co-operate due to the sensitivity of the issues raised in the cables".

Only recently, according to Zanu-PF sources, the issue was brought up in the party's politburo meeting during an intense discussion on the media and the conduct of Information minister Jonathan Moyo with regards to his relationship to other party members and fellow cabinet ministers.

According to party sources, Oppah Muchinguri reminded some Zanu-PF officials of their alleged damaging discussions with state enemies as she leaped in Moyo's defence.

"It is a difficult situation for the state to deal with the WikiLeaks issue because some of the people who could be witnesses are unlikely to come and testify hence the decision to take the case global (sic)," a source said

"It would involve extra territorial investigations which include talking to the US diplomats themselves as well as Julian  Assange, the man behind the controversial website, so that we authenticate
the site and the information thereon."

Some people alleged to have held secret meetings with US diplomats include MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai and a host of top officials from his party, including Nelson Chamisa, Obert Gutu and Roy Bennett.

The controversial whistle blower also claimed that some senior Zanu-PF officials, including Vice-President Joice Mujuru, was alleged to have secretly met with US ambassador Charles Ray without the knowledge of Mugabe and Foreign Affairs officials.

In public, the US has been portrayed as Zimbabwe's public enemy number one by senior Zanu-PF members, but under the cover of darkness some senior party members were said to be supping with the enemy "selling out state secrets"

"The issue is also political because some of these diplomats might be lying to their masters back home to portray they are working, but at the same time we cannot rule out a possibility that these people met and discussed various issues, including those of a security nature," another government source said.

When the cables were released in the public domain, fear gripped many politicians, especially those in the ruling Zanu-PF, as some of the information was explosive and damaging to their relationship with Mugabe.

The cables also exposed Washington's doubts about Tsvangirai's leadership as well as the character of those who back him publicly.

Source - Wikileaks,Zimbabwe
More on: Wikileaks, Zimbabwe