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PROSECUTOR General (PG) Johannes Tomana was Wednesday given a 30-day jail term for contempt of court after he defied court orders to issue certificates of private prosecution of Munyaradzi Kereke and Telecel’s Jane Mutasa.
Tomana was jailed by a full Constitutional Court bench led by Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku.
The sentence was, however, wholly suspended on condition that Tomana issues the private prosecution certificates to Francis Maramwidze and Telecel within 10 days, failure to which he would be barred from practicing as a lawyer.
Tomana had approached the ConCourt seeking to have autonomous powers in terms of deciding on whom to provide with a certificate to privately prosecute.
In his application in terms of section 167(5) (a) of the Constitution, Tomana said he wanted the court to decide on “the question of his constitutional independence from the direction and control of anyone.”
This was after the Supreme Court ordered him (Tomana) to issue Maramwidze a certificate to privately prosecute Kereke over rape charges.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) then filed opposing papers at the Constitutional Court against PG Tomana’s application.
ZLHR were arguing that the application was frivolous and vexatious and constituted an abuse of the court process was and lacking merit.
ZLHR were being represented by advocate Tererai Mafukidze, instructed by David Hofisi while Tomana was represented by Thabani Mpofu and instructed by Farai Mutamangira.
Kerereke, who is the Zanu MP for Bikita West, is accused of sexually abusing Maramwidze’s 11 year old relative at gun point sometime in October 2010.
When the police sent the Kereke docket to the Attorney General’s office, prosecution was declined.
Then last year, the court ordered Tomana to issue Maramwidze with a certificate to privately prosecute Kereke but the then Attorney General ignored the order.
Then in December last year, Mwaramwidze’s lawyers wrote to National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) asking why they had not responded to the order.
The NPA replied saying that they had not ignored the lawyer’s request but the delay was the non-availability of the court’s written judgement.
On the other hand since October last year Tomana has also failed to issue a certificate of private prosecution on the Telecel Zimbabwe court case against the company shareholder Jane Mutasa who is accused of swindling the mobile network company over $1.7 million in airtime vouchers.
Tomana was arguing that Mutasa had been cleared of any criminal activity.
Meanwhile the state media reports that Tomana left the country for Russia Wednesday afternoon on State business. source-newzimbabwe