via ‘Nothing amiss with Gono retaining Biti as his lawyer’ | The Herald December 19, 2013 Herald Reporter
There is nothing amiss with ZANU-PF Buhera Senator-designate Dr Gideon Gono retaining MDC-T secretary-general Mr Tendai Biti as his lawyer and suggesting otherwise is indicative of a hidden political agenda, Information, Media and Broadcasting Services Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo has said.
Prof Moyo said this last night in a statement responding to a story carried in yesterday’s issue of The Herald headlined “Gono, Biti ties raise suspicion”.
Dr Gono is the immediate-past Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, while Mr Biti was Finance Minister in the inclusive Government from 2009 to 2013.
The Information Minister said, “While the fact that Gono has hired Tendai Biti as his lawyer of choice to represent him in the Constitutional Court case against him by (Dr Munyaradzi) Kereke can understandably raise political eyebrows in ZANU-PF given the fact that Biti is the secretary-general of the MDC-T, it should be understood in the clearest of terms that, like any other Zimbabwean, Gono is entitled under our Constitution to choose his own lawyer.
“It is trite to mention that lawyers are trained professionals whose appearance in the courts is governed by legal rules and not by politics or similar mumbo jumbo.
“As such, the notion that there are ZANU-PF lawyers and MDC lawyers is a sad commentary on our national politics whose polarisation has gone way too far.
“It might be a strategic masterstroke for Gono to have chosen Biti as his lawyer, since the move effectively means that Biti, who is mentioned as a player in the court papers, is now unavailable to Kereke as a potential witness in the Constitutional Court case in question.”
Dr Kereke was an advisor to Dr Gono when the latter headed the Reserve Bank.
The two have since fallen out, with Dr Kereke accusing Dr Gono of committing various acts of fraud that prejudiced the State of millions of United States dollars.
The matter is before the Constitutional Court, with Dr Kereke seeking an order from the Judiciary for investigations to be instituted against Dr Gono.
Prof Moyo went on, “In any event, the hullaballoo over Gono’s selection of the secretary-general of MDC, Tendai Biti, as his lawyer pales into insignificance when compared to the fact that there are, many marriages between ZANU-PF and MDC members, some of which are quite high-profile.
“Surely, what is good for the bedroom must also be good for the courtroom.”
Prof Moyo also revealed that Dr Gono’s nomination for the Buhera senatorial seat had been endorsed by ZANU-PF’s Politburo last
week. The Herald quoted ZANU-PF Manicaland provincial chairperson Cde John Mvundura saying they had nominated Dr Gono for the seat left vacant by Cde Kumbirai Kangai’s death earlier this year and that the matter was being dealt with in a “higher office” of the “party leadership”.
Prof Moyo said, “The correct position which The Herald has hitherto failed to report for reasons best known to the paper is that, last Wednesday on December 11, the ZANU-PF Politburo unanimously endorsed Gideon Gono’s senatorial nomination to represent Manicaland province in the Upper House.
“There’s therefore nothing amiss or untoward about the nomination which was done in a transparent manner and in terms of both the law and ZANU-PF procedures.
“What is as disturbing as it is inexplicable is that instead of professionally and ethically reporting about developments in the case lodged by Kereke in the Constitutional Court from a factual point of view, The Herald surprisingly took the route of a shameless smear campaign against Gono using the cover of cheap politics to the detriment of both Gono’s constitutional rights and the truth.”
The Information Minister criticised indications in The Herald’s story that there may have been attempts to compromise Zimbabwe’s security through the Dr Gono-Mr Biti professional relationship.
“The Herald’s opportunistic attempt to bring the Zimbabwe Defence Forces into disrepute through Kereke’s story is not just disappointing but it is also very shocking, unprofessional and totally unacceptable,” he said.
Related to that, Prof Moyo also took issue with the use of unnamed sources in the story.
“Even worse, The Herald’s undisguised smear campaign against Gono is based on quotations from faceless and nameless sources described as ‘senior ZANU-PF officials’ and ‘a ZANU-PF Politburo member with close ties to the Zimbabwe Defence Forces’.”
Prof Moyo said the story was based on “emotive and false assertions that smack of a hidden political agenda with nothing to do with the legal case”.