By Bridget Mananavire
President Robert Mugabe has fired Prosecutor-General (PG) Johannes Tomana, after he was found guilty of both misconduct and incompetence by a tribunal that was set up by the nonagenarian to determine if he was still fit to continue holding office.
Tomana was appointed PG in November 2013, after the functions of the Attorney-General and the Prosecutor-General were split under the country’s new Constitution.
Until then, he was Zimbabwe’s Attorney-General, a position he had been appointed to by Mugabe in December 2008 when the country was still operating under the old Lancaster House constitution.
Justice ministry’s permanent secretary Virginia Mabiza announced Tomana’s removal from office in yesterday’s government gazette.
“It is hereby notified that His Excellency the President has received the report of the tribunal appointed under section 187 (3) as read with section 259 (7) of the Constitution to inquire into the question of removing the prosecutor general Johannes Tomana, from office for incompetence and misconduct.
“In that report, the tribunal has advised His Excellency the President that the Prosecutor General ought to be removed from office for incompetence and misconduct.
“Accordingly, in terms of section 187(8), of the Constitution, the prosecutor general is removed from office with effect from the date of publication of this notice,” Mabiza said.
Tomana was suspended in July last year over a slew of allegations which included criminal abuse of office and gross incompetence involving a number of cases that were before the courts.
The tribunal, which was headed by retired High Court judge Moses Chinhengo, completed its probe in February.
The panel also included University of Zimbabwe Dean of Law Emmanuel Magade and Harare lawyer Melina Matshiya.
Among the issues that the panel was interrogating was Tomana’s alleged refusal to issue a private prosecution certificate to Francis Maramwidze for the prosecution of disgraced former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) advisor and legislator Munyaradzi Kereke.
The former aide to retired RBZ governor Gideon Gono is serving an effective 10 years in jail for raping his then 11-year-old niece at gunpoint almost seven years ago, after four years of his sentence was suspended if he behaves well.
Other allegations related to Tomana’s refusal to issue certificates of prosecution against former Telecel director Jane Mutasa, who was facing fraud charges, as well as obstructing justice after ordering the withdrawal of charges against two suspects who were being accused of planning to bomb Gushungo Dairy, a company owned by the First Family.
He was also accused of abusing his office by withdrawing charges against former deputy minister Bright Matonga, who was accused of corruption in 2008.
The tribal also heard that the former PG had ordered the withdrawal of charges that had been laid against former Bindura Hospital acting superintendent, Beauty Basile, who had been charged with criminal abuse of office. Daily News