By Tendai Mugabe
The Tribunal set up by President Mugabe to determine Mr Johannes Tomana’s suitability to continue as Prosecutor-General, met on Monday last week and gave him 10 days to respond to six charges being levelled against him ranging from gross incompetence to gross misconduct.
The Tribunal, which was set up in terms of Section 187 (3) of the Constitution, is chaired by Retired High Court Judge Justice Moses Chinhengo and its other members are Commissioners Emmanuel Magade and Mrs Melina Matshiya.
Mr Tomana is facing six charges stemming from his refusal to respect court rulings. Secretary for Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Mrs Virginia Mabiza said evidence presented to President Mugabe by the Judicial Service Commission pointed to gross incompetence or gross misconduct.
Mrs Mabiza said the tribunal would inquire whether Mr Tomana deserved to be removed from office in terms of Section 187 (1) as read with Section 259 (7) of the Constitution.
Said Mrs Mabiza: “The Prosecutor-General has been served with papers outlining the basis of the inquiry and articulating the allegations arising from the information served to the President by the Judicial Service Commission.
“The Prosecutor-General was given 10 days within which to respond. Thereafter the Tribunal is expected to conduct a hearing. The Prosecutor-General is facing at least six allegations.”
The Tribunal seeks to inquire Mr Tomana’s conduct with respect to court orders issued by the High Court and another issued by the Supreme Court in cases between Francis Maramwidze versus Commissioner-General of the Zimbabwe Republic Police and another, Telecel Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd versus Attorney-General and Professor Charles Muchemwa Nherera versus Jayesh Shah.
In the case of Maramwidze, Mr Tomana is accused of refusing or failing to issue him with a certificate for private prosecution as ordered by the High Court on May 14, 2014. He is facing the same charge in the Telecel (Pvt) Ltd case after he was ordered to issue a certificate by the Supreme Court in five days on January 8, 2014.
The Tribunal seeks to establish whether Mr Tomana was not only in contempt of court, but also in violation of the oath of office and the Constitution by refusing or failing to obey these court orders.
It is understood that the Tribunal also seeks to establish whether Mr Tomana’s conduct was inappropriate and in abuse of office with regards to persons who were his clients prior to his appointment as Prosecutor-General.
Through his office or officers he authorised, Mr Tomana is accused of refusing to support the conviction on appeal of Mr Nherera who was his former client.
Mr Tomana is further accused of withdrawing charges of contravening the Prevention of Corruption Act (Chapter 9:6) against Mr Bright Matonga who is his former client citing unavailability of witnesses yet they were available.
Mr Tomana is also accused of refusing to prosecute Mr Matonga on charges of culpable homicide citing untenable reasons at law.
In another charge, the Tribunal seeks to establish whether Mr Tomana himself inappropriately and in abuse of office stopped the trial of Beauty Basile who was charged with several counts of contravening the Prevention of Corruption Act (Chapter 9:23) and the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act (Chapter 9:23).
The circumstances for stopping the trial were unwarranted and against the weight of evidence against Basile. The Herald