President assents to National Prosecuting Authority Act

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe has signed into law the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Act of 2014, as government moves to bring into force the provisions of the new constitution.

The Act paves way for the setting up of the NPA, and outlines how the authority, which is headed by prosecutor general (PG) Johannes Tomana, will operate.

The latest Government Gazette general Notice 268 of 2014 notifies that the president has signed the NPA Act into law.

Among other things, the Act provides for the appointment of a national director of public prosecutions, administration of the authority, conditions of service of its members and the transfer of persons from the civil service to the NPA.

Clause 4 provides for the setting up of the NPA to consist of the PG, appointed in terms of Section 259 of the Constitution.

Clause 5 provides for the setting up of an NPA Board to consist of the PG as the chairperson, deputised by the national director of public prosecutions.

Clause 6 sets out the functions of the board, while clause 14 empowers the Justice minister to give directions on matters of policy to the board.

The board will be responsible for administering and supervising the NPA and appointing and disciplining its prosecutors and other staff members.

In exercising its responsibilities, the board will be subject to general policy directives issued by  the Justice minister, who currently is Emmerson Mnangagwa, according to clause 14.

The board will submit annual reports to the minister who will lay them before Parliament.

Tomana has already been officially appointed PG.

The NPA is responsible for instituting and undertaking criminal prosecutions on behalf of the State and discharging any function that may be necessary or incidental to such prosecution.

Under the previous Lancaster House constitution, the responsibility of prosecuting was under the attorney general.

 

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