Suspended Prosecutor-General (PG) Johannes Tomana yesterday scored a victory after the High Court ruled in his favour and ordered that he gets back the $2 000 bail and $250 000 surety he had surrendered to the State in a matter where he is being charged on five counts of criminal abuse of office.
Source: Tomana’s bail, $250 000 surety refunded – NewsDay Zimbabwe August 23, 2016
BY CHARLES LAITON
High Court judge Justice Priscilla Munangati-Manongwa ruled that provincial magistrate Tendai Mahwe had, in July this year, misdirected himself when he ordered Tomana to deposit fresh bail despite the latter being already on bail for the same offences.
Sometime in February this year, Tomana was arrested on charges of criminal abuse of office or alternatively defeating the course of justice and was remanded out of custody on $1 000 bail by Harare provincial magistrate Vakai Chikwekwe.
However, in early July this year, just as he was about to leave the court building, Tomana was again picked up by the police and further charges, similar to the ones he was already on bail for, were levelled against him and was summoned to appear in court again.
According to the State’s information, the purpose of taking Tomana to court was to formalise the counts and to consolidate them for trial which was scheduled for July 20. However, when he appeared before Mahwe, he was ordered to pay fresh bail and to surrender surety, which decision he then challenged at the High Court.
Through his lawyer, Advocate Thabani Mpofu, who was instructed by Tazorora Musarurwa, Tomana queried Mahwe’s decision and requested the High Court to quash the proceedings.
Mpofu submitted that Mahwe had erred in ruling that he could place his client on fresh bail when section 117(1) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act clearly states that the right to bail applies only to persons that are in custody.
The lawyer added the manner in which the proceedings were conducted by the magistrate was grossly irregular and demanded that the entire proceedings be set aside.