- HANGING TREEE: Where British settlers hung nine Ndebele warriors more than 100 years ago at the height of the Umvukela (Matabeleland uprisings) in 1896-7, along JMN Nkomo Street between Connaught Avenue and Masotsha Ndlovu Avenue, is a national monument as it symbolises both subjugation and resistance to colonialism by the Zimabwe’s citizens.
- 300 Cowdray Park opposition members mostly defectors from MDC-Alliance joined Zanu-PF during yesterday’s meeting
- Borrowdale road and Harare Drive traffic lights hit-and-run driver arrested after a recording of the incident went viral on social media.
- Financial institutions have grouped under the Bankers Association and resolved not to accept the state-issued 99-year farm leases.
- OPPOSITION party Zapu says it will this week write to Parliament seeking to recall its former members, who are now part of the ruling Zanu-PF.
In the middle of the urgent chamber proceedings, Tomana raised constitutional questions alleging possible bias if serving High Court judges hear his matter.
He argued that all sitting judges of the High Court, who are subordinates to Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, would not be able to criticise or uphold the conduct of their boss.
This was because Chief Justice Chidyausiku, apart from being the head of all judges, is also the chairperson of the commission (JSC) that instituted proceedings for his possible removal from office.
Yesterday, Justice Lavender Makoni dismissed the application for referral of the matter to the Constitutional Court. The judge described Tomana’s application as frivolous. “In the result, the applicant has failed to establish a factual basis for his request for referral to Constitutional Court.
“The reasons he advanced are groundless, utterly hopeless and without foundation in the facts on which they are purportedly based. I’ll therefore make a finding that the request is frivolous,” ruled Justice Makoni.
She did not make any order for costs. “The application is dismissed. There’ll be no order as to costs,” the court ruled. The judge said Chief Justice Chidyausiku was the head of two distinct offices and his position as JSC chairperson did not affect his judicial powers as a judge.
“With regard to the conflicted position of the Chief Justice, the applicant is falling into error of conflating the two distinct functions of the Chief Justice as provided for in the Constitution.
“In one of the offices, he’ll be exercising his judicial powers as a judge and in the other, administrative powers as head of the Judicial Service Commission.
“The decision he makes using his administrative authority can be reviewed by any judge in the ordinary way. In any event, the issues that the applicant raises in the urgent chamber application are legal issues,” said Justice Makoni.
Tomana faces possible removal from office due to non-compliance with court orders. He is facing criminal charges at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts involving the attempted Gushungo Dairy bombing.
In October last year, he was slapped with a 30-day term of imprisonment for contempt of court after he defied court orders to issue certificates for the private prosecution of Bikita West legislator Munyaradzi Kereke and Telecel shareholder Jane Mutasa.
Kereke is accused of raping an 11-year-old relative while Mutasa was facing charges of swindling the company of airtime recharge cards worth millions of dollars. Tomana was fined by a nine-member judge’s panel of the Constitutional Court led by Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku.
The sentence was, however, wholly set-aside on condition that he complied with court orders and issue private prosecution certificates to Francis Maramwidze and Telecel, failure of which he would be barred from practising as a lawyer in Zimbabwe. Daniel Nemukuyu. Source Chronicle
Photo-l Prosecutor genera Johannes Tomana