'Mugabe above the law'

HARARE - Embattled Prosecutor General, Johannes Tomana, says President Robert Mugabe is above the Constitution and that, therefore, anybody who insults him should face the full wrath of the law.

Speaking at a three-day workshop that was organised by his office to assist prosecutors in the discharge of their functions in Harare, Tomana effectively argued that Mugabe had more rights than other Zimbabweans.

“Let me say it here now, that insulting and undermining the office of the president is not trivial. It must be prosecuted and demands the highest penalty that is provided for under the Constitution and the law.

“The reason why the presidency is a protected institution even by the Constitution itself…he is the only person who is above the Constitution in the sense that he may not be prosecuted during his tenure of office and he may not be sued during his tenure of office…,” he said.

Tomana added that it was on the basis and principle of obeying the president that the insult law  had been crafted.

This speech comes hot on the heels of the strident calls for Tomana’s resignation or dismissal, after he questioned whether all cases involving sex with girls under the age of 16 should be treated as rape.

He emphasised yesterday that his office was apolitical, as he called on Zimbabweans to respect Mugabe.

And in a thinly-veiled attack on Constitutional Court judges who have previously dismissed Mugabe insult cases, Tomana said that it was not prudent for Mugabe to be called a “goblin”.

“We have heard some comments that have come from the courts, one that is on record is the one that refers to some statement that was made about the president as being a goblin and there is a judgment that is saying that, well we know that he is not a goblin and therefore why should it be an issue that somebody has called him a goblin and therefore it is not an offence.

“This has confused a lot of people. The understanding of undermining the office of the president has been interfered with in a way. But for us, we understand why that provision of the law is there,” Tomana said.

Constitutional Court judges in January this year expressed concern over the arrest of people for making political statements that had no bearing on Mugabe.

This followed a Constitutional Court application filed by MDC secretary general Douglas Mwonzora, who challenged his arrest after he allegedly called Mugabe a goblin.

However, Tomana said that insulting the president was not allowed in the context that as a leader Mugabe had followers.

“…most of you and most of us belong to this part of the world and we come from the black race and according to what we know culturally, we all understand what a goblin is.

“Chikwambo munochiziva handiti. Munhu ane chikwambo haatyise? (I believe you all know a goblin. Is it not true that a person who has a goblin is frightening?), would you want to follow munhu ane chikwambo (somebody who has a goblin), would you want to be led by somebody waunoziva kuti anoroya (that you know practises witchcraft).

“Do you see that it does have an effect and an impact on people who actually have an obligation to have the trust to be able to follow the leader and you say he is a goblin and you say it is trivial,” he said.

He told the prosecutors that the idea of respecting Mugabe was not optional, adding that his office was protected by law.

“… if it was optional to obey him and then he says for example let’s indigenise the economy, do you think the economy would be indigenised if it is optional for the citizens to be able to obey or respect him? It would not happen.

“The reason why that law is there is that law and order does not exist in a vacuum, it will happen organically where certain rules, certain laws are being obeyed,” he said.

Comments (19)

Where did we find this guy? I was raised to understand that respect is earned and whilst in no ways do I subscribe to insults I have heard RGM do it to numerous others many times. He has been a very poor example in this matter. Especially as head of State. And Tomana should realise that no one is above the law. The quality of those in leadership in Zimbabwe is poor. May God raise up Godly leaders. Zimbabwe is what happens when you have politics without God. destruction!

TruthBTold - 3 August 2015

shameful that we call this guy our attorney general. So much of what he is sayng here is itself criminal. we know that it is criminal to suggest that someone is a witch in zim. We know that no one is above the law even if they choose not to abide by that law as they do in zim. Tomana is unbelievably shallow.

tino16 - 3 August 2015

One similarity between Tomama, sorry, Tomana and Amai is talking too much. It's easy for people to find satan in a load of words. Be advised Mr. AG - never try to explain the law in vernacular. There is a reason for studying German, Dutch, Roman, French, British law!!!

KundaKinde - 3 August 2015

Tomana you can say all praises but you are not off the hook for your utterances time will tell

12 year old - 3 August 2015

Tomama is trying to be smart by praising Bob think all zimbabweans are fools wha an ___SS OF AN ATORNY GENERAL

bibo - 3 August 2015

Eish this Tomama idiot, pardon me i heard it, is frantically singing for his supper guys. He realizes that our de facto Prime Minister dubbed "Hurricane DisGrace" Mugabe, usezomphuca kkkkkkk

OkaS'lwane - 3 August 2015

Tsunami, only fool says in his heart there is no God. Jesus Christ reigns not poor Mugabe he is under the law he swore to uphold.

Dee - 3 August 2015

What a heap of crap from, supposed to be AG, Tomana! It is a shame to hear, a supposed to be an intelligent man down graded by this Zanu-PF mafia, shamelessly sing for his supper. The man is in bondage! Tomana, you do not need this. Manyoka chaiwo! There is no legality in all you said above. The reason the president is not sued while in office, is actually to avoid abuse of the law. You are actually doing just that abuse of the law.

Mbareboy - 3 August 2015

He knows where his bread is buttered. What positive things do you expect from this man.

Alex Darise - 3 August 2015

Look Carefully at Tomana. He has many facial acid burns from being up the anuses of his various heroes in Zanu pf. That is why he often seen picking his nostrils. It is only the British agents like the mentally challenged Catriona Laing in Harare who cannot see the tyranny of Zanu pf. She is said to be looking for a suitable stud.

Ethel Mlalazi - 4 August 2015

Tomama urigurwe chairo.... No one is above the law my friend tichamusunga chete kana akabva ipapo. Chikwambo chikwambo chete hazvichinje. pamwe munazvo mese nashefu wako

Takaz - 4 August 2015

Animal Farm...

Tahir Iqbal - 4 August 2015

I think its high time that we as Zimbos try and be objective if we want to build our nation. Am not a Fan of either H E (RG Mugabe) or Tomana, but he is dead right. And he never said that Mugabe is above the Law, the Office of the presidency is above the law.Please , be factual.

derrick - 4 August 2015

Carry on singing Toman; you will keep bread on the table for some time still. Thank you for defining "goblin" so well. What kind of human being can be above the law of his own country while others must abide by that same law? One who defies his own law is surely some one/thing other than human.

abri - 4 August 2015

You know you are in deep crap as a country if your AG is also singing for his supper like that!!

misty - 4 August 2015

who is not above the law. in the mdc t, morgan is the law. no one is allowed to challenge him. funny enough, the party used to sloganeer 'chinja maitiro' yet he does not want to embrace change himself. his time for change came and he doctored the constitution and overstayed just like any other dictator would do. all these guys (ncube, makoni, dabengwa, tsvangison) are a law to themselves in their political parties.

zvirozviyedzwa - 4 August 2015

What did he swear to abide with when he was sworn as president? We are all equal in front of god & the law. What differs is the application of the law. The poor being victims of selective justice which is an avallanche in ZIM. No justice, no peace, no freedom & no prosperity. Takarwirei?

EL-DODO - 5 August 2015

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