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Sacked Tomana was in ‘wrong’ Zanu PF basket

By Mugove Tafirenyika

Zanu PF insiders say while fired Prosecutor-General Johannes Tomana contributed to his own demise regarding his inglorious exit from his powerful State position, he was also a victim of the ruling party’s vicious tribal, factional and succession wars.

Prosecutor General Johannes Tomana
Johannes Tomana

Tomana was relieved of his duties as PG on Friday by President Robert Mugabe, 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.

“He (Tomana) was in the wrong basket (Zanu PF faction), and it didn’t help that he became cocky and made many mistakes.

“Generally speaking, and as you know, senior party officials never lose their jobs for either misconduct or incompetence as he did,” a Zanu PF bigwig told the Daily News on Sunday yesterday.

University of Zimbabwe politics expert, Eldred Masunungure also said while many people would not “lament” Tomana’s departure” because of how he had conducted himself while still in office, there was a suggestion that the fallen PG was a victim of Zanu PF’s deadly infighting.

“Tomana did not play his cards well while in office. He also went on to defy court decisions, thereby alienating himself with many in and outside Zanu PF.

“It is understandable therefore that he may have fallen victim to the factionalism playing out in the ruling party.

“It is also a question of bad luck on his part because he is not the only one who has failed in his mandate. Others who have done so have lived longer in their positions.

“In that light, Tomana is clearly a victim of Zanu PF factionalism, even as many will not lament his departure mainly because of his glaring incompetency,” Masunungure told the Daily News On Sunday.

Zanu PF is currently sharply divided, with the camp which is rabidly opposed to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa succeeding Mugabe, the Generation 40 (G40) faction, involved in a life-and-death tussle with the VP’s backers, Team Lacoste.

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.

Justice ministry permanent secretary Virginia Mabiza announced Tomana’s removal from office in Friday’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 MP 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 tribunal 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