Tomana's army recruits cause chaos

HARARE - Prosecutor-general Johannes Tomana is being accused of violating the Constitution after engaging the services of senior army officers to do administration work in his office, the Daily News can reveal.

More than a dozen military officers are working in the Prosecutor-General’s office, including a colonel and four majors.

The Daily News understands Tomana requested the army officers’ deployment to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in a letter to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa as Justice minister  in 2013, and the request was approved.

“We have close to 20 military people here performing administration work. It’s patently illegal what is happening.

“There’s a lot of friction between lawyers and these soldiers whose presence has never been explained. But what we know for a fact is that they are causing mayhem here,” one NPA official said.

Early signs of the friction first came to public light last year when Colonel Solomon Siziba, who is the director of administration in the NPA, allegedly assaulted Tomana’s deputy, Florence Ziyambi.

The other members of the military recruited by Tomana are Major Garikai Manyeruke and a Major Msipa.

Section 208 of the Zimbabwe Constitution says  that “serving members of the security services must not be employed or engaged in civilian institutions except in periods of emergency.”

With Tomana battling to keep his job after criminal charges were filed against him and the Judicial Service Commission separately found him unfit for office and recommended his removal, the Daily News understands the military officers have drawn up a plan to ensure he stays by intimidating prosecutors lining up to testify against him in his criminal abuse of office trial.

The Daily News understands that Siziba, who is reportedly leading the operation, has called for a meeting of the NPA board on Wednesday this week which Tomana will chair — thumbing his nose at the JSC and sending a message that he is still in charge. Siziba’s role as the director of administration in the NPA automatically makes him the NPA board secretary.

Official sources say Tomana’s decision, working with Siziba, to call a board meeting this week is already causing ructions in the NPA with fears that it is the start of a sinister fightback plot by the embattled Prosecutor-General, a key ally of  Mnangagwa in Zanu PF’s internecine succession drama.

Last week, Tomana requested the postponement of his trial to July after his lawyer, advocate Thabani Mpofu, told a Harare court that he (Mpofu) was unwell.

Watchers of the trial say the postponement, now gives Tomana time to crack down on prosecutors who will testify in his trial in which he stands accused of dropping charges against two army officers implicated in a plot to bomb a dairy plant owned by President Robert Mugabe and his wife, Grace.

An NPA source said: “Tomana wants to intimidate and scatter the prosecutors, and the military guys are at the heart of it. He has called a board meeting which we understand he wants to use to engineer the transfers of some of the prosecutors involved in his trial.

“For as long as he remains not suspended, it makes it very difficult for those prosecutors to give evidence against him because he has a lot of options at his disposal to make their life hell.”

The board meeting appears to have also been timed to coincide with the absence of Ziyambi, Tomana’s deputy and the vice chair of the NPA board. Ziyambi, who reported being assaulted by Siziba on February 13 last year and is thought to be at loggerheads with Tomana, received government authority to go on an overseas trip this week.

“What has really heightened everyone’s fears about Tomana’s intentions is that the notice for this board meeting went out without an agenda. It simply says ‘the agenda will follow in due course’.

“How can you call a meeting whose agenda you don’t know? Something really sinister is afoot,” an NPA official added.

Comments (4)

Those so called state witnesses who are to testify against Tomana are the ones with an agenda against him. WE THE LAW OFFICERS in the NPA know exactly what transpired and the truth shall come out during trial.As for the army personel in the NPA they are on secondment and are not permanent.Treasury refused to let NPA recruit its administration staff saying it has no money and that all new appointments had been frozen. So how was NPA going to function without administration?There have been attempts within NPA and outside NPA to undermine efforts being done by this guy Tomana ,from the time of the inclusive government when the slogan was Tomana must go.This derailment program has taken a new twist with people within NPA fighting him.These people are not many,just one or two rebels without a cause,including the ones who gwve information to this paper.

gustavoz - 6 June 2016

this is not new & its not the first area to be occupied by personnel aligned to the military! nrz & gmb are well known to have bin run-down by these major so&so or brigadier so&so! these are the same roles, positions & placements that 'wovetz' are crying for! its being taken in bad light now becoz tomana is in hot soup and everything about him is being used against him. the boy is a blacklisted lawyer for starters, and just wait for the right time for that accusation to be used against him! bush politiks at play!

SaManyika Chaiye - 6 June 2016

In most, if not all cases, army personnel are deposited in civilian govt departments, parastatals, JVs for one major purpose. i.e to intimidate workers, managers, and everyone who might not tow the line. In most cases is just to bully people around with their useless bravado. They must stay away from civilian issues...completely. If the govt did not havemoney, was the army the only viable source of administrators throughout all govt departments? musanyepa! nyaya dzenyu ndidzechimhondi nekutysisidzira povo chete!

Hodho - 6 June 2016

The fact that people associalted with ZNA were employed in other civillian institutions is not at all important. But the point to take home from above is that it is unconstitutional to do that. As for the authenticity of this law il leave it to the lawyers since l am not a lawyer myslf

goodlife - 7 June 2016

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