via Tomana’s new appointment raises eyebrows | SW Radio Africa by Tichaona Sibanda on Thursday, November 14, 2013
The appointment of the attorney-general Johannes Tomana as the country’s first prosecutor-general of the National Prosecution Authority has ruffled some feathers.
Tomana, who was controversially appointed the AG in 2008 at the formation of the inclusive government, was sworn in by President Robert Mugabe at State House on Wednesday.
He will serve as the prosecutor-general for a period of six years which is renewable for one further such term. Under the new constitution, adopted in May this year, Tomana is supposed to act independently and not be subject to the direction or control of anyone.
The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said they will monitor how he carries out his mandated functions as he is constitutionally obliged not to act in a partisan manner.
In a statement the ZLHR said: ‘We further expect the political neutrality of the Prosecutor-General and the officers in the NPA to be urgently legislated by way of an Act of Parliament as part of the harmonization of laws with the new Constitution, as this is a critical issue which is in the national interest and which will improve public confidence in the justice delivery system.’
The PG must also submit to Parliament an annual report on the operations and activities of the office. Promise Mkwananzi, the secretary-general of the MDC-T youth assembly, said it would be wishful thinking for anyone to believe that Tomana will not be getting his instructions from ZANU PF.
Mkwananzi told SW Radio Africa on Thursday that the appointment of Tomana as prosecutor-general of Zimbabwe is very disappointing but not surprising.
‘His appointment is a reflection of the general attitude within ZANU PF which is prone to recycling the same old people, including Mugabe himself.
‘Tomana has been put there precisely to undermine some of the critical reforms which we in the MDC pushed for, and to be the sledgehammer to decimate leaders of democracy and defenders of human rights,’ Mkwananzi said.
The MDC-T youth leader accused the new PG of being notorious for abusing the laws of the country, particularly section 121 which he said has been used unnecessarily to keep innocent people in detention against the law.
‘He will not bring anything new to that office except intensify persecutions against those perceived to be MDC,’ said Mkwananzi.