|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
Justice Michael Gillespie outlined reasons for his resignation in a review of a criminal case published in Harare on Saturday, weeks after he left the capital to live in England.
In his review of a light sentence handed down to two men convicted of extortion during a wave of so-called company invasions by militant supporters of President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party, Mr Gillespie accused the government of intimidating the judiciary and putting its supporters above the law.
The company invasions followed the widescale and often violent occupation of white-owned farms by Zanu-PF supporters in support of Mr Mugabe's land redistribution programme.
Mr Gillespie said the men had extorted money from a Harare company in the name of the Zanu-PF, a party which he said was "believed to be controlling similar acts of violence and intimidation throughout the country".
The two men, Mr Gillespie said, "are among those who have sought to take advantage of the increasing breakdown of the rule of law engineered by the executive".
"Your behaviour was a symptom of the breakdown to mob rule... which is the inevitable consequence when the government of the day, by its actions, no matter what words it uses, effectively renounces its commitment to the rule of law."
"I have also reached the conclusion that for as long as there prevails the conditions such as I have described in this judgment, I cannot continue to act as an effective and independent member of this bench," he said.
The government dismissed Mr Gillespie's charges as "racist rubbish" and said his resignation was "good riddance to bad rubbish".
Zimbabwe Information Minister Jonathan Moyo said the statement was "disgusting".
"Any judge who makes such pertinently political and racist statements which have nothing to do with the case before him is not worth the honour and dignity of the office," he said.
P O Box 59
Cell : 091 239 410
26 September 2001
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN
ON GOING DISTURBANCES ON RUNGUDZI ESTATE
I am now feeling completely terrorised, desperate, helpless and tired beyond belief. My employees I am sure feel the same, compounded by insecurity of employment and pending starvation.
I attach statements and letters to further illustrate the plight of myself, and my employees. Even these are a tip of the iceberg of terror that we have been subjected to over the last 18 months. I feel most despondent now, as the Government does not appear to be taking any notice of the attempts by the international community to resolve the crisis of violence. The world community seems helpless to stop this terrorism being unleashed by the Government on the people of Zimbabwe. However, I believe that it is incumbent on the world community to ensure that all inhabitants of this planet are freed from oppression in whatever form. I have been particularly horrified at the stories of atrocities by the Taliban government against the Afghanistan people. The United Nations must have known some of this and has not come to the rescue of the Afghans. There is no excuse for this type of human suffering.
As an MDC activist, I am well aware of the intimidation of all Zimbabweans and particularly MDC supporters and their exclusion from employment and any Aid programmes of drought relief, poverty alleviation, etc.