14 June 2017

Zimbabwe: Public Interviews for New PG

Photo: Nehanda Radio
Former Prosecutor-General Johannes Tomana (file photo).

Secretary for Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Mrs Virginia Mabiza said the country's new Prosecutor-General will, for the first time in history, be appointed through public interviews and the process was already in motion.

This follows the removal of former PG Mr Johannes Tomana from office last Friday for incompetence and misconduct.

In an interview, Mrs Mabiza said unlike the previous years, aspiring candidates for the new PG's post will now go through public interviews conducted by the Judicial Service Commission in terms of the new supreme law of the country.

"Public interviews will soon be conducted the same way we do for new judges. JSC has already started working on it and may be sometime next week advertisements for the vacancies will be placed in the media.

"Nominations and other related processes will be done in terms of the Constitution," said Mrs Mabiza. Mrs Mabiza said Acting PG Advocate Ray Goba remains in office pending appointment of a substantive head of prosecution. "Advocate Goba will be acting until such a time when a substantive PG is appointed," she said.

Last week, President Mugabe fired Mr Tomana from office for incompetence and misconduct. The decision came after a disciplinary tribunal chaired by Retired High Court judge Justice Moses Chinhengo found him to be unfit and no longer proper to continue holding the esteemed office.

Mr Tomana was last year suspended to allow the tribunal to hear and determine a litany of allegations levelled against him, chief among them being flagrant defiance of legitimate court orders. The tribunal found him guilty before recommending his removal from office.

President Mugabe, through General Notice 292 of 2017 published in the Government Gazette, announced Mr Tomana's expulsion. The tribunal completed hearing evidence on February 8 this year.

Mr Tomana faced a slew of allegations ranging from criminal abuse of office and gross incompetence. At least 23 witnesses testified before the tribunal in the matter. Some of the witnesses who testified before the tribunal were Deputy Prosecutor-General Mrs Florence Ziyambi, senior prosecutors in the Prosecutor-General's Office and others who left Government service for private practice.

The tribunal sought to inquire into Mr Tomana's conduct with respect to court orders issued by the High Court and Supreme Court in cases pitting Mr 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 Maramwidze's case, 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 in a rape case involving incarcerated former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe official Munyaradzi Kereke.

The tribunal also sought to establish whether or not Tomana was not only in contempt of court and in violation of the oath of office and the constitution by refusing or failing to obey the court orders.

The tribunal was composed of Justice Chinhengo, University of Zimbabwe law lecturer Mr Emmanuel Magade and lawyer Ms Melania Matshiya. Meanwhile, Mr Tomana has since been indicted for criminal trial at the High Court in which he faces a number of criminal abuse of office charges.

He now awaits trial. Recently, Mr Tomana had his household property attached over failure to pay legal costs that accrued in several court cases in which he unsuccessfully sued the Judicial Service Commission in spirited efforts to block the setting up of a tribunal to determine his suitability or otherwise to hold the esteemed office.

Mr Tomana's predecessor, Mr Sobusa Gula-Ndebele, was also removed from the same office through a tribunal.

The President, in May 2008 fired Mr Gula-Ndebele after a tribunal found him guilty of failing to properly discharge his duties.

Zimbabwe

Mugabe Spends Nearly U.S.$20 Million On Rallies - Report

President Robert Mugabe has reportedly blown an estimated $20m of state funds in eight of his Zanu-PF youth interface… Read more »

Copyright © 2017 The Herald. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 900 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.