Tomana prosecutors grilled

HARARE - Prosecutors handling the case of Prosecutor-General Johannes Tomana — charged with abuse of office and obstructing the course of justice — were yesterday taken to task why the top prosecutor must remain on remand.

Tomana’s charges arose after he withdrew charges against two men accused of plotting to bomb President Robert Mugabe’s dairy plant.

In an affidavit filed on February 16, Tomana said attempts to prosecute him were ultra vires the new Constitution which gives him authority to discharge independently any functions necessary for prosecution, and applied that he be discharged from remand.

Regional prosecutors Gwinyai Shumba and Timothy Makoni filed written submissions opposing Tomana’s bail application but did not address legal aspects that had been raised by the defence.

“The decision by the prosecutor-general to withdraw charges preferred against one or more of the accused persons should have been made after assessing evidence gathered by the police and not just decide to favour one accused person over the other,” argued the prosecutors.

Tomana’s lawyer Advocate Thabani Mpofu said the validity of the arrest has not been addressed, adding “the prosecutors don’t suggest that they have any authority from any other person to conduct these proceedings and have not shown whether, if proved, the circumstances constitute an offence.”

“We have led evidence demonstrating that it was a deliberate exercise of prosecutorial functions (by Tomana) and yet the prosecutors’ response is adequate on two fronts. It does not respond on critical and key functions advanced.

“…there has not been a proper response.”

Harare provincial magistrate Vakayi Chikwekwe called into question the evidence of the investigating officer Thulani Ncube who confirmed that Tomana’s arrest was subject to his instructions.

This was after Ncube was probed by Tomana’s lawyer to name the entity standing as the complainant in this case.

“The head of State was compromised in particular and according to section 174 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, it was lawful to arrest anyone who committed a crime of that nature,” Ncube said.

Chikwekwe asked the prosecutors to justify if they had authority or entitlement to appear against the government’s top prosecutor.

The prosecutors responded by outlining their professional qualifications before the matter was postponed to February 22 when ruling on Tomana’s bail application would be made.

According to Makoni, Tomana illegally ordered the release of Solomon Makumbe and Silas Pfupa, who are facing treason charges, before the police finalised investigations into the matter.

Makumbe, a member of the Zimbabwe National Army and Pfupa, a former soldier are jointly charged with Owen Kuwacha, leader of Zimbabwe People’s Front political party who has been jailed for nine years and Borman Ngwenya, who is also employed as a soldier.

The four, who were arrested on January 22, are facing charges of possessing of weaponry for sabotage and contravening the Money Laundering and Proceeds Crime Act. Their charge has since been elevated to treason.

Comments (7)

Was Advocate Thabani Mpofu not the lead counsel defending lady Beatrice Mtetwa when this Tomana fellow was trying to pursue her without just cause?

Galore 123 - 19 February 2016

Ko macomments kuita mashoma kudai zvinorevei?kkkkk

Tahir Iqbal - 19 February 2016

Comments are few because this Tomana animal deserves no justice. He is presiding over injustice and he should taste it and also know that he is just as ordinary as any other ordinary person. Time will tell.

Zvichapera - 19 February 2016

Comments are few because this Tomana animal deserves no justice. He is presiding over injustice and he should taste it and also know that he is just as ordinary as any other ordinary person. Time will tell.

Zvichapera - 19 February 2016

@galore 123, Yes he is. He is just doing his work as a professional

boutros - 20 February 2016

Masoja vanodawo rugare uye vanodawo school fees yevana vavo uye kuti vana vavo vadzidzewo pazvikoro zvakanaka. So don't be surprised when you see these guys fight to remove bad leadership like what has just happened. Musavasunge mhani uye Tomana haana mhosva uyu. He is doing his job well and people should not cross his road.

dhurun'aru - 20 February 2016

Advocate Mpofu is professional and registered legal practitioner. He, therefore, provides legal services/advice to all and sundry

professional - 20 February 2016

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