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Zimbabwe Prosecutor General's Request for Outsider to Preside Over His Case Dismissed

Zimbabwe's Prosecutor General Johannes Tomana (R) arrives escorted by policemen at the Harare Magistrates court, Feb. 2, 2016.

Zimbabwe High Court judge Lavendar Makoni has paved the way for the possible suspension pending dismissal of Prosecutor General Johannes Tomana.

Justice Makoni dismissed a request by Tomana that a retired judge or foreign judge preside over his case.

Tomana is facing charges of criminal abuse of office or alternatively defeating the course of justice after he allegedly authorized the release of Solomon Makumbe and Silas Pfupa, who are accused of plotting to allegedly bomb the first family business concern Alpha and Omega and President Robert Mugabe’s rural home in Zvimba communal lands, Mashonaland West.

Last year, the Supreme Court also ruled that Tomana was in contempt of court after he defied court orders to issue certificates for the private prosecution of ruling Zanu-PF Bikita West legislator Munyaradzi Kereke and Telecel shareholder Jane Mutasa.

Kereke was accused of allegedly raping an 11-year-old relative, while Mutasa was facing charges of swindling the company of airtime recharge cards worth millions of dollars.

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) says Tomana is not a "fit and proper person" to continue in the esteemed office of the prosecutor-general in the wake of defying court orders from the superior courts.

Tomana, in his urgent chamber application at the High Court, had argued that his post was at par with that of Chief Justice Chidyausiku and that the JSC had no powers to institute proceedings leading to his possible removal from office. But his request was dismissed.

Constitutional law expert Professor Lovemore Madhuku, president of the opposition National Constitutional Assembly, told VOA that Justice Makoni’s ruling is sound as it would be unconstitutional to allow foreign judges to preside over Tomana's case.

Interview With Professor Lovemore Madhuku
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