Tendai Kamhungira 14 February 2017
HARARE – Suspended prosecutor-general, Johannes Tomana, who is facing
criminal abuse of office charges, has applied for stay of prosecution
pending the hearing of his Constitutional Court (Con-Court) application to
be tried by an external judge.
Tomana made the application yesterday through his lawyer, Thabani Mpofu,
before High Court judge Tawanda Chitapi when his trial was due to start.
He wants his case to be heard by a retired judge or any judge not sitting
in the higher court.
The State is expected to respond to the application today.
According to court papers, Tomana is accused of illegally withdrawing
charges of possession of weaponry for insurgency and money laundering for
terrorism against Silas Pfupa and Solomon Makumbe – who were caught
allegedly attempting to bomb President Robert Mugabe’s Alpha Omega
A further charge emanates from the time when Bright Matonga was still
Zupco’s chief executive.
The court heard that in 2004, Matonga was charged with culpable homicide
arising from a traffic accident which resulted in the death of Chipo
When Tomana became the attorney-general, he reportedly devised a plan to
illegally assist Matonga, after the former deputy Information minister was
summoned for trial before the Chitungwiza Magistrates’ Courts.
He reportedly ordered his subordinates to drop the criminal charge against
Matonga, without having sight of the docket and knowledge of circumstances
surrounding the case.
According to court papers, Tomana directed his subordinates to decline
prosecution, resulting in Matonga escaping the culpable homicide charges.
Tomana is also accused of protecting Matonga, after he was charged with
contravening the Prevention of Corruption Act.
He reportedly ordered his subordinates to drop charges against Matonga in
2008 after plea, which resulted in the discontinuation of the trial.
“This was despite the fact that most of the witnesses were still to
testify in the matter and they were readily available to attend court and
testify,” the court papers read.
Charges against Matonga were eventually withdrawn after plea, resulting in
him being found not guilty.
Tomana is accused of acting in a manner contrary and inconsistent to his
duties as a public officer, by showing favour to Matonga.
He is further accused of protecting Charles Nherera, another former Zupco
board member, who was also facing charges of contravening the Prevention
of Corruption Act.
Nherera was sentenced to three years in prison and Tomana testified in his
He later applied for bail pending appeal, which was dismissed after the
State opposed the application on the grounds that there were no prospects
The Supreme Court also dismissed his application for review.
When Tomana became the attorney-general, he reportedly directed the State
to change its stance and admit that Nherera was innocent and that the
conviction had been passed erroneously.
According to State papers, Tomana also facilitated the release of Beauty
Basile, an acting medical superintendent who was based at Bindura General
Hospital in 2009.
Basile had been arraigned before the court accused of criminally abusing
her duties and also faced 219 counts of corruption.
Tomana reportedly ordered his subordinates to withdraw charges against
her, after she made several visits to his office.
On the last count, Tomana is accused of assisting the release of Patrick
Mavros, an illegal gold dealer, who was found in possession of 9008, 1
grammes of the precious mineral.
He was accused of contravening the Gold Trade Act, by operating without a