State seeks judge’s recusal in Tomana trial

Source: State seeks judge’s recusal in Tomana trial – DailyNews Live

Tendai Kamhungira      16 February 2017

HARARE – The Prosecutor-General’s office has asked High Court judge
Tawanda Chitapi to recuse himself from handling the trial of suspended
Prosecutor-General Johannes Tomana, who is facing criminal abuse of office

Jonathan Chingwinyiso, leading the team of four prosecutors who included
Malvern Musarurwa, Thompson Hove and Timothy Makoni, filed the
application, claiming the judge was once a board member of the National
Prosecution Authority (NPA), which was chaired by Tomana.

In the application for recusal, the NPA cited Tomana and the presiding
judge Chitapi as respondents.

“Do you want me to look for a lawyer? Who prepared this application?” the
judge queried the citation in circumstances where he is the one expected
to make a ruling on the application.

Chingwinyiso said there was a perception the judge would not make a fair
ruling in the case because he once interacted with Tomana during a time he
was the NPA board member.

However, Tomana’s lawyer Thabani Mpofu, who was instructed by Emmanuel
Mukweva, said the application was merely intended at putting unnecessary
pressure on the judge, describing the application as a “dog’s breakfast”.

He said the application was unreasonable, because when Chitapi was the NPA
board member, he had not been employed by Tomana, but was appointed by the

The court said it will advise the parties when the ruling is ready.

“The court has listened to the submissions with respect to principally the
application for recusal…we need time to consider judgment, to assess the
submissions made. Accordingly, you will be advised when the ruling is
ready,” Chitapi said.

Tomana is facing six charges of criminal abuse of office, some dating back
to 2009.