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Zimbabwe AG Threatens Those Noting Expiration of Term of Police Chief

Attorney General Tomana has threatened to invoke the Official Secrets Act to prosecute newspapers that have reported the expiry of the term of office of Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri

Debate in Zimbabwe over reform of the national security sector heated up again Friday as Attorney General Johannes Tomana dismissed those who have called on President Robert Mugabe to consult his governing partners on top posts falling vacant

Independent newspapers have reported that the term of office of Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri has expired and the former opposition Movement for Democratic Change has urged Mr. Mugabe to replace the often controversial police chief.

Attorney General Tomana said the 2008 Global Political Agreement for power sharing has expired, so Mr. Mugabe is solely responsible for such appointments.

He threatened to invoke the Official Secrets Act against newspapers reporting about the expiration of Chihuri's term of office.

Mr. Tsvangirai and leader of the smaller formation of the MDC, Welshman Ncube, have said President Mugabe cannot re-appoint Chihuri without their consent.

But Tomana told VOA reporter Blessing Zulu that Mr. Mugabe has a sole mandate in this case, and that journalists have no right to discuss Chihuri’s term of office.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights Director Irene Petras said Tomana’s declaration that the troubled unity government has expired is a cause for concern.

National Constitutional Assembly Chairman Lovemore Madhuku said Tomana speaks for most ZANU-PF hardliners.