Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

D-Day for Tomana

By Kuda Bwititi

The tribunal appointed to examine suspended Prosecutor General Mr Johannes Tomana’s fitness to hold the post has completed its task, and will soon submit its determination to President Mugabe.

Zimbabwe's chief prosecutor Johannes Tomana (C) arrives at the Harare Magistrates court
Zimbabwe’s chief prosecutor Johannes Tomana (C) arrives at the Harare Magistrates court a few months ago

Mr Tomana was suspended in July 2016 over various allegations, among them criminal abuse of office and gross incompetence that compromised justice.

President Mugabe subsequently appointed the tribunal headed by Justice Moses Chinhengo on the Judicial Services Commission’s recommendation.

The panel, which also has University of Zimbabwe Dean of Law Mr Emmanuel Magade and Harare lawyer Mr Melina Matshiya, exceeded its time line to accommodate all hearings.

Secretary for Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Mrs Virginia Mabhiza said:

“The tribunal completed all the work that it was mandated to do by the deadline of March 31. They managed to come up with a report of their findings, and will seek audience with Vice-Pesident (Emmerson) Mnangagwa in his capacity as Minister Responsible for Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.

“Thereafter, the report will be submitted to the President who will then have the final word on the course of action to be taken in the matter.”

At least 23 witnesses, including Mr Tomana; his deputies; public prosecutors and lawyers in private practice, testified before the tribunal.

One of the cases Justice Chinhengo and Co. considered involves Mr Tomana’s alleged refusal to issue a private prosecution certificate to Mr Francis Maramwidze in keeping with a High Court order of May 14 2014.

The case concerned former Bikita West legislator and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe official Mr Munyaradzi Kereke who has since been jailed for raping his 11-year-old niece.

Other charges cover failure to facilitate prosecution in high-profile cases, including one in which telecommunications firm Telecel Zimbabwe wanted its former director, Jane Mutasa, prosecuted for fraud.

Further, Mr Tomana faces a charge of criminal abuse of office or, alternatively, obstructing the course of justice for allegedly ordering withdrawal of charges against two men suspected of trying to petrol bomb the First Family’s Gushungo Dairy in Mazowe in January 2016.

Mr Tomana has been arrested over some of the cases, which are now before the courts.

As PG, he enjoyed the status of judge, and joins the ranks of Justices Anthony Blackie and Benjamin Paradza who were at one point hauled before tribunals.

Advocate Ray Goba is the acting PG. The Sunday Mail