Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter
The hearing in Prosecutor-General Johannes Tomana’s call for a judge outside the High Court to hear his interdict application was yesterday postponed to allow the judge to make a ruling on whether the Judicial Service Commission’s notice for referral to Constitutional Court was properly before the court.
Justice Lavender Makoni said she needed time to look into the submissions by all parties to the matter. Her ruling would be made in due course in one of the longest urgent chamber applications to be heard before Justice Makoni.
At the last hearing, JSC lawyer Mr Chinake of Kantor and Immerman brought before the court a notice of what he termed a 15-point constitutional issues — he want referred to the apex court for determination.
But Advocate Thabani Mpofu appearing for Tomana, opposed the JSC’s call for their case to be referred to the highest court. He said the JSC should place evidence before the court establishing the factual conspectus from which their constitutional issues arise.
“We want to respond to that factual conspectus,” said Adv Mpofu.
However, Mr Chinake said the matter could proceed without the need for his clients placing an affidavit before the court.
He said Tomana would want to rely on the JSC affidavit.
Last week, the JSC conceded to Tomana’s request to have his case referred to the Constitutional Court. In the urgent chamber application filed in the High Court last month, the embattled Prosecutor-General wants to stop JSC from continuing with the process leading to his possible removal from office.
He wants that challenge to be heard by a retired High Court judge or any judge not sitting in the higher court. 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 judges’ panel of the Constitutional Court led by Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku.
The sentence was, however, wholly set-aside on condition that he complied with the court orders and issue private prosecution certificates to Mr Francis Maramwidze and Telecel, failure of which he would be barred from practicing as a lawyer in Zimbabwe.