Chidyausiku is spot on

HARARE - Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku and his entire bench who on Wednesday slapped Prosecutor-General Johannes Tomana with a 30-day prison sentence for disobeying court orders should be commended for a job well done as their judgment not only cements confidence in the judiciary but victims of serious crimes like rape especially among children.

The independence of the judiciary must be the cornerstone of democracy and the decision by Chidyausiku and his judges to come down hard on Tomana will only help create a lawful society where people know that when they feel unjustly treated and where they are powerless against politically connected people, they can always approach the courts for relief.

Tomana was slapped with a 30-day jail sentence by the Constitutional Court for defying orders by the courts to authorise the private prosecution of rape accused Zanu PF Bikita West MP Munyaradzi Kereke and businesswoman Jane Mutasa.

What we find baffling is why would Tomana refuse to have Mutasa and Kereke prosecuted because if they have done nothing wrong, surely the courts will clear them.

The ruling came after Tomana approached the highest court in the land challenging recent judgments of the High Court and Supreme Court compelling him to issue certificates for the private prosecution of Kereke — who stands accused of raping an 11-year-old girl — as well as that for Mutasa, who is accused of defrauding Telecel Zimbabwe of $1,7m in airtime.

It must trouble Tomana’s conscience and some senior politicians to be so protective of two people who ordinarily must be willing to clear themselves on their own before a judge, so that nobody whispers unprintable words behind anyone’s back.

The strange developments around Tomana’s handling of the two cases will always raise questions with the biggest one being that, could there actually be more to the protection of Kereke and Mutasa than what meets the eye?

Tomana’s lawyer, Thabani Mpofu further angered the judges when he suggested that refusing to issue private prosecution certificates for Kereke and Mutasa was in the national interest but Chidyausiku was spot on when he said it was not in Zimbabwe’s interest to have children raped and thieves roaming around freely.

Argued Chidyausiku: “It is not taken lightly by this court . . . if a three-year-old girl is raped and you refuse to prosecute, is it not taking the law into one’s hands?”

“What national interest are you protecting for a common thief and a rapist?”

Surely, Chidyausiku and his judges should be commended for such candid assessments which will help our nation respect the judiciary more.

Comments (6)

This is typical of a country without a leader. A do as you like situation. Kana baba vachembera small boys will even come pamba varipo vachinyenga vakadzi vacho . Typical of our country

Doasyoulikesituation - 30 October 2015

Well done Chidyausiku!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Dhurun'aru - 2 November 2015

I think both gentlemen vakareswa ini - AG has no business clearing people of charges. But he needs substance to prosecute. It is not enough to allege. If he cannot prove beyond reasonable doubt and takes a half baked case to court, the same judges will roast him (or his surbodinates) literally. Paive nemurungu ainzi judge Smith - ma lawyer aikwata kuenda ku court kwake. He loved to pin-point their failings mu court. Even the AG is also allowed some dignity. Kana AG anga asina kuona enough facts to act upon, I would have respected him, if he had allowed for private prosecution. Then if the victim loses, he would have redeemed himself - ndakakuudzai kuti panga pasina case, mukandiita benzi. CJ, pavaresva ndepekubva vaita pronouncement on a case isati yauya kwavari - if a three year old is raped (an allegation at this stage) and you refuse to prosecute, are you not taking the law into your hands". Ma magistrate nema junior judges havazo feel pressurised to make a certain findings here (shona) if the case ever comes before them?

Lodza - 2 November 2015

Lodza munenge dofowo imi you cant even interpret the supposition being made by the CJ. He is simply saying there is nothing that the accused lose if your darling Tomana refer the accused as a suitable candidate for private prosecution. not to say the accused is a rapist or thief

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profashaf - 2 November 2015

Argued Chidyausiku: “It is not taken lightly by this court . . . if a three-year-old girl is raped and you refuse to prosecute, is it not taking the law into one's hands?” “What national interest are you protecting for a common thief and a rapist?”

petros - 4 November 2015

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