14 September 2017

Zimbabwe: Ray Goba Appointed Prosecutor-General

Photo: New Zimbabwe
President Robert Mugabe.

President Mugabe has with immediate effect appointed Advocate Ray Hamilton Goba as substantive Prosecutor-General (PG) following the dismissal of Mr Johannes Tomana on account of gross incompetence and misconduct.

Adv Goba took part in public interviews conducted by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to select a substantive PG last month. After the interviews, JSC in terms of the Constitution, submitted names of the best three to President Mugabe for final appointment.

Seven candidates who include Messrs Charles Chinyama, Misheck Hogwe, Wilson Tatenda Manase, Peter Mufunda, Ms Teclar Mapota and Mrs Florence Ziyambi, were eyeing the top post. One candidate, Mr Jacob Manzunzu, withdrew from the race.

In an extra ordinary Government Gazette General Notice 493 of 2017 published yesterday, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda said: "It is hereby notified that His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe has appointed Ray Hamilton Goba as the Prosecutor-General with immediate effect." Adv Goba was acting PG since the suspension of Mr Tomana in July last year.

The decision by President Mugabe comes after a disciplinary tribunal chaired by Retired High Court judge Justice Moses Chinhengo found Mr Tomana unfit and no longer proper to continue holding the esteemed office. Other members of the tribunal were University of Zimbabwe law lecturer Mr Emmanuel Magade and lawyer Ms Melania Matshiya.

Mr Tomana was last year suspended to allow the tribunal to hear and determine a slew of allegations that were levelled against him, chief among them,defying court orders.

The tribunal found Mr Tomana guilty and recommended his removal from office. The tribunal completed hearing evidence on February 8 this year.

During the hearing, 23 witnesses testified. Among the witnesses were Deputy Prosecutor-General Mrs Florence Ziyambi, senior prosecutors in the PG's Office and others who have 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 the Maramwidze case, Mr Tomana was 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 jailed former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe official Munyaradzi Kereke.

The tribunal also sought to establish whether or not Mr Tomana was in contempt of court and in violation of the oath of office and the Constitution by refusing or failing to obey the court orders. Mr Tomana has since been indicted for criminal trial at the High Court where 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 efforts to block the setting up of the tribunal to determine his suitability or otherwise to continue in the office of the Prosecutor General.

Mr Tomana's predecessor Mr Sobusa Gula-Ndebele was also removed from the then Attorney-General's office following the recommendations of a tribunal.

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

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