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Suspended Prosecutor-General, Mr Johannes Tomana, was yesterday fired for misconduct and incompetence after a tribunal set by President Mugabe to probe him recommended his dismissal.
Permanent Secretary for Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Mrs Virginia Mabhiza announced in a General Notice 292 of 2017 published in the Government Gazette yesterday that President Mugabe had acted on the tribunal’s recommendations.
The decision by President Mugabe came after a disciplinary tribunal chaired by Retired High Court judge, Justice Moses Chinhengo, found Mr Tomana unsuitable to continue holding the esteemed office. Other members of the tribunal were University of Zimbabwe law lecturer Mr Emmanuel Magade and lawyer Ms Melania Matshiya.
Mr Tomana was last year suspended to allow the tribunal to hear and determine a litany of allegations against him, chief among them being a flagrant defiance of legitimate court orders.
The tribunal found him guilty before recommending his removal from office.
“It is hereby notified that His Excellency, the President has received the report of the tribunal appointed under Section 187(3) as read with Section 259(7) of the Constitution to inquire into the question of removing the Prosecutor-General Johannes Tomana from office for incompetence and misconduct,” said Mrs Mabhiza in the Government Gazette.
“In that report, the tribunal has advised His Excellency the President that the Prosecutor-General ought to be removed from office for incompetence and misconduct,” she said.
“Accordingly, in terms of Section 187(8) of the Constitution, the Prosecutor General is removed from office with effect from the date of publication of this notice (yesterday).”
The tribunal completed hearing evidence on February 8 this year.
Mr Tomana faced a slew of allegations ranging from criminal abuse of office to gross incompetence.
At least 23 witnesses testified before the tribunal.
Among the witnesses who testified before the tribunal were Deputy Prosecutor-General Mrs Florence Ziyambi, senior prosecutors in the Prosecutor-General’s Office and others who have left Government service for private practice.
The tribunal sought to inquire into Mr Tomana’s conduct with respect to court orders issued by the High Court and Supreme Court in cases pitting Mr Francis Maramwidze versus Commissioner-General of the Zimbabwe Republic Police and another; Telecel Zimbabwe (Pvt) Ltd versus Attorney-General; and Professor Charles Muchemwa Nherera versus Jayesh Shah.
In the Maramwidze case, Mr Tomana was accused of refusing or failing to issue him with a certificate for private prosecution as ordered by the High Court on May 14, 2014 in a rape case involving incarcerated former Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe official and former legislator Munyaradzi Kereke.
The tribunal also sought to establish whether or not Mr Tomana was in contempt of court and in violation of the oath of office and the Constitution by refusing or failing to obey the court orders.
Mr Tomana has since been indicted for criminal trial at the High Court where he faces a number of criminal abuse of office charges.
He now awaits trial.
Recently, Mr Tomana had his household property attached over failure to pay legal costs that accrued in several court cases in which he unsuccessfully sued the Judicial Service Commission in efforts to block the setting up of the tribunal to determine his suitability or otherwise to continue in the office of the Prosecutor General.
Mr Tomana’s predecessor Mr Sobusa Gula-Ndebele was also removed from the then Attorney-General’s office following recommendations of a tribunal.
President Mugabe in May 2008 fired Mr Gula-Ndebele after a tribunal found him guilty of failing to properly discharge his duties. Daniel Nemukuyu, chronicle