Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

One less headache for Tomana

A SINGLE-SENTENCE letter could be the opening embattled Prosecutor-General Mr Johannes Tomana has been praying for.

Johannes Tomana
Johannes Tomana

Mobile phone service provider Telecel Zimbabwe has written to him withdrawing its criminal case against former chairperson Mrs Jane Mutasa.

Last week, the Constitutional Court sentenced Mr Tomana to 30 days imprisonment after he failed to issue private prosecution certificates in Mrs Mutasa’s case and in another involving Bikita West legislator Dr Munyaradzi Kereke, who allegedly raped a 10-year-old girl at gunpoint in 2010.

The Prosecutor-General had declined to prosecute the two matters, insisting his office had the prerogative to determine who the State pursued cases against.

Related Articles
1 of 30

Complainants in the matters insisted Mr Tomana issue private prosecution certificates to take the criminal charges to court on their own.

The Constitutional Court told Mr Tomana he would be jailed if he did not issue the certificates within 10 days of the ruling.

Now, in a letter to Mr Tomana dated 30 October, 2015, Telecel acting chief executive Mrs Angeline Vere says the company is no longer pursuing private prosecution.

“We write to kindly advise that Telecel Zimbabwe is no longer pursuing private prosecution in respect of Jane Mutasa and another as Telecel and Mrs Mutasa have amicably resolved their issues,” reads the note.

In 2010, Mrs Mutasa was arrested for allegedly swindling Telecel of US$1,7 million-plus in air time vouchers. Mr Tomana declined to prosecute her, citing lack of evidence. That was his same position in the Dr Kereke case.

With Telecel giving him a way out, Mr Tomana is left with one headache.

However, two weeks ago, the National Assembly adopted an amendment to the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act that says the Prosecutor-General cannot be compelled to issue such certificates should s/he decline to charge an accused person.

Meanwhile Fungayi Jessie Majome, the Secretary for Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs in the opposition Movement For Democratic Change (MDC-T) said her party was:

“….appalled by the collusion between the Executive and the hapless and dangerous Prosecutor General in subverting the legislative process to amend the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act so that it sanitizes and forestalls his defiance of and hence contempt of the High Court. The MDC’s efforts to resist that nefarious anti-people amendment were thwarted by that unholy alliance.

Majome said Tomana acts “instead as the offender general and chief criminal protector, posing the biggest ever danger to the public. He is appallingly ignorant and uncomprehending of the letter and spirit of the Constitution particularly the founding value of good governance which entails ‘respect for the people of Zimbabwe for whom the authority to govern is derived’ as per section 3(2)(f).”