Tomana case referred to High Court

HARARE - Suspended Prosecutor-General Johannes Tomana’s case on criminal abuse of office will be heard at the High Court, prosecutors notified a court yesterday.

Prosecutor Jonathan Chigwinyiso, who is being assisted by Malvern Musarurwa and Timothy Makoni, sought for a postponement of the case to November 16 pending serving of indicts on Tomana to appear at the High Court for his trial.

“The matter shall be heard at the High Court and we have consented with defence counsels for a postponement to November 16,” said Chigwinyiso.

Tomana was represented by Tazorora Musarurwa and applied for scrapping of his reporting conditions, which was subsequently granted by Harare provincial magistrate Vakayi Chikwekwe.
On the latest charge, the State alleged that he illegally withdrew charges of ‘‘possession of weaponry for insurgence and money laundering for terrorism’’ against Silas Pfupa, 37, and Solomon Makumbe, 29 — who were caught attempting to bomb President Robert Mugabe’s Alpha Omega Dairies.

According to court papers, the other count emanated from the time when Bright Matonga was still Zupco’s chief executive officer.
The court heard that in 2004, Matonga was charged with culpable homicide arising from a traffic accident which resulted in the death of Chipo Chikowore.

When Tomana became the country’s attorney-general, he reportedly devised a plan to illegally assist Matonga, after the former deputy Information minister was summoned for trial at the Chitungwiza Magistrates’ Courts.
He reportedly ordered his subordinates to drop the criminal charge against Matonga, without having sight of the docket and knowledge of circumstances surrounding the case.

According to court papers, Tomana directed his subordinates to decline prosecution, resulting in Matonga’s failure to be prosecuted on culpable homicide charges.
Charges against Matonga were eventually withdrawn after plea, resulting in him being found not guilty.

Tomana is accused of acting in a manner contrary and inconsistent to his duties as a public officer, by showing favour to Matonga.

He is further accused of protecting Charles Nherera, another former Zupco board member, who was also facing charges of contravening the Prevention of Corruption act.

Nherera was sentenced to three years in prison and Tomana testified in his trial.

He later applied for bail pending appeal, which was dismissed after the State opposed the application on the grounds that there were no prospects of success.

The Supreme Court also dismissed his application for review.
When Tomana became the attorney-general, he reportedly directed the State to change its stance and admit that Nherera was innocent and that the conviction had been passed erroneously.

According to State papers, Tomana also facilitated the release of Beauty Basile, an acting medical superintendent who was based at Bindura General Hospital in 2009.

Basile had been arraigned before the court accused of criminally abusing her duties and also faced 219 counts of corruption.

Tomana reportedly ordered his subordinates to withdraw charges against Basile, after she made several visits to his office.

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