By Bridget Mananavire
The Judiciary Service Commission (JSC) has begun the hunt for the new Prosecutor-General (PG) after it issued a notice inviting nominations for candidates seeking to fill one of the country’s coveted but difficult jobs within the legal fraternity.
This comes as there is already serious jockeying for the PG’s post, hardly two weeks after government sacked Johannes Tomana, over incompetence and misconduct.
“The JSC announces that a vacancy of prosecutor-general of the Republic of Zimbabwe has arisen. It is necessary to appoint a PG for the Republic of Zimbabwe. In terms of section 259 (3) as read with section 180 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, members of the public are hereby invited to nominate suitably qualified persons to fill in the above position,” said the JSC.
According to the JSC, among the requirements are that the person to fill the PG’s post should be above 40 years of age and should have been a judge or a lawyer for 10 years.
President Robert Mugabe will pick the new PG from a list submitted by the JSC after it finishes conducting its interviews.
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.
Before he was fired, Tomana had been on suspension since July last year facing 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.
Meanwhile, analysts recently told the Daily News that the selection of a new PG is likely to be hard fought given the public brawling by Zanu PF factions which marred the selection to choose the country’s new chief justice after the retirement of Godfrey Chidyausiku who died last month.
The selection had decidedly taken a factional tone.
Acting PG Ray Goba, veteran lawyers Florence Ziumbe and Wilson Manase are said to be leading the race to succeed Tomana.
Manase, who is representing First Lady Grace Mugabe in her diamond ring suit against Lebanese Jamal Ahmed, came short of being appointed the attorney-general (AG) before Mugabe eventually settled for Prince Machaya.
Ziumbe is said to be well regarded and was once touted as the potential first woman AG before Machaya got Mugabe’s nod. Daily News