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Arrest Warrant Issued for Zimbabwe Minister Who Shrugs Off Subpoena

A magistrate in Zimbabwe's Mashonaland West province capital of Chinhoyi has issued an arrest warrant against Didymus Mutasa, minister of state for security in President Robert Mugabe's office, who failed to heed a subpoena to testify in a land-related case.

Mutasa, formerly Minister of Land, was called by a defense lawyer to testify in the case of a white commercial farmer charged with refusing to vacate state land. Mutasa was called upon to testify Tuesday, but instead sent lawyer Itai Ndudzo to say he would not come.

Commercial farmer Robert Mckersie has refused to leave Chipungu farm in Manghura to make way for a newly resettled farmer under the decade-old land reform program.

Mckersie’s lawyer, Thabani Mpofu, successfully sought a warrant for the arrest of Mutasa for the minister's failure to respond to the subpoena. But Harare lawyers said there is nothing the police can do as there is no rule of law and Mutasa in effect enjoys impunity.

Mutasa, explaining his decision to reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe, said the judicial system has been compromised by enemies of the state.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe....