Zvamaida Murwira Senior Reporter
PRESIDENT Mugabe yesterday swore in Mr Johannes Tomana as Prosecutor-General to lead criminal prosecution for a renewable six years in compliance with the new Constitution while Government has started the hunt for his replacement. Before the appointment, Mr Tomana was the Attorney-General.
Mr Tomana was sworn in at State House during a brief ceremony attended by Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa.
In an interview soon after the ceremony, Minister Mnangagwa said the swearing in was consistent with the new Constitution which separates the AG as the chief Government legal adviser and Prosecutor-General to head the National Prosecution Authority.
He said the Constitution stipulates that the current AG should become PG for the next six years.
“After six years we shall be able to be free to appoint anybody else as Prosecutor-General. If it pleases the President, he can reappoint him but the first six years, he has been granted by the Constitution. This now means from the time he has been sworn in the office of the AG becomes vacant,” Minister Mnangagwa said.
Asked who would replace Mr Tomana as AG, Minister Mnangagwa said he would from now begin to look for the replacement.
“I don’t conceive things before time arrives . . . I am a constitutional lawyer, so I understand how power works. I only begin when things have been done. I will begin to think who can become AG,” he said.
The AG, he said, would remain seized with legal advice, drafting and civil division.
Speaking soon after his swearing-in ceremony, Mr Tomana was upbeat.
“The mandate is straightforward. Just to decide which matters to prosecute and why and which matters not to prosecute and why. We are hoping that we will be able to discharge that role at a higher level. Currently we were under the combined office of the Attorney-General which had other roles such as legal advice, drafting and civil division,” said Mr Tomana.
Mr Tomana cited lack of resources, which have plagued all Government departments, as some of the challenges.
Secretary for Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Ms Virginia Mabhiza said Government would now expedite the promulgation of the National Prosecution Authority Bill that would operationalise the department.
“Following the swearing-in of the Prosecutor-General, we need to expedite the enactment of the NPA Bill into law because it will operationalise the NPA through the creation of a board to run the office of the authority,” she said.
“The Bill is due to be presented before the Cabinet Committee on Legislation, once it goes through Cabinet it would then go through parliamentary processes.”
The ceremony was also attended by Secretary for Information, Media and Broadcasting, Mr George Charamba and other senior Government officials.