President Robert Mugabe must have "okayed" Information minister Jonathan Moyo's Thursday interrogation by the Zimbabwean police, it has emerged.
Although presidential spokesperson George Charamba has skirted the issue by saying law enforcement agents did not need anyone's blessings to interview people of interest, those familiar with such cases insisted that State protocol demanded that executive authority be sought before any high-ranking officials were summoned by the police.
"The police force is a constitutional body. It can invite anyone in this government, in this land including yourself, so you cannot ask me on the protocol of government as if it has anything to do with the Police Act. The police can invite anyone, no one is above the law, they do not need to inform the president," Charamba said in a telephone interview on Friday.
Efforts to obtain comment from Home Affairs minister Kembo Mohadi were fruitless as his cell phone went unanswered.
But Theresa Makone, former co-Home Affairs minister, said State protocol demanded that executive authority be sought before any high-ranking government officials were summoned by the police.
"My understanding is that a minister cannot be arrested without the approval of the president, they do not want to just embarrass the minister. There is no way a minister can be arrested without the president's knowledge," Makone said.
Moyo's grilling not only came as the Zanu PF leader had savaged him as a "devil incarnate" and a "weevil" out to cause divisions in the party, but effectively left him hanging to dry as the factional-driven Baba Jukwa saga continues to play out.
At the time that Mugabe fired the successive salvos about two months ago, the nonagenarian president also said Moyo had bungled by hiring State editors who were largely opposed to his rule and sympathetic to the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.
As it is, one of the ex-Tsholotsho North legislator's key recruits and Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi is facing serious sedition charges, and accused of being the brains behind the faceless, but notorious Facebook character Baba Jukwa.