CONFUSION over whether government plans to amend the Public Order and Security Act (Posa) continues to swirl with Mozambican President Joachim Chissano last
week suggesting such a move was imminent.
But Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa yesterday shot down the suggestion saying the legislation would remain intact as it provided “a useful weapon to fight opposition-sponsored lawlessness”.
Chissano told the World Economic Forum meeting in Durban last week that African leaders’ engagement with Zimbabwe had resulted in President Mugabe agreeing to repeal oppressive laws against the media and the opposition.
Chinamasa in an interview yesterday said Posa would not be amended.
“There is no such proposal and there will not be any proposal to amend Posa,” said Chinamasa.
“As the Minister of Justice, let me say that there is no problem with Posa because it is the only tool that we have to fight lawlessness by those who want to remove a legitimately elected government.
“The country has now almost returned to normal (after the mass action) and we were not going to succeed without Posa,” said Chinamasa.
South African President Thabo Mbeki at the beginning of the year told the press after meeting British Prime Minister Tony Blair that Zimbabwe would amend its security laws. Chinamasa immediately dismissed the assertion.
While Chinamasa has remained firm that Posa will not be amended, it is becoming clear that leaders in the region have been given assurances at some level that Mugabe has agreed to such a move.
On suggestions in the state media that Zanu PF Minister of State for Parastatals Paul Mangwana would be taking up the post of Attorney-General, Chinamasa said newspapers were “free to speculate”.