Tendai Rupapa: Senior Court Reporter
THE trial of suspended Prosecutor-General Johannes Tomana, which was supposed to start at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts yesterday, has been moved to the High Court.Prosecution indicated it will serve Tomana with indictment papers for trial at the higher court on November 16. He is facing six counts of criminal abuse of office.“Your Worship, there has been a change of events. The accused shall be tried at the High Court and if the matter can be remanded to November 16. We will serve him with the indictment papers on that day,” he said. No further explanation was given as to why the trial has been moved to the High Court.
The prosecutor Mr Jonathan Chingwinyiso then sought postponement of the matter to enable them to prepare indictment papers.
Tomana is now expected to be indicted to the High Court on his return date to court on November 16. Following the new developments, Tomana abandoned his application for refusal of further remand and consented to the postponement.
He had placed the State on notice that he would apply for refusal of further remand if his trial failed to commence yesterday at the magistrates’ court.
Through his lawyer Mr Tazorora Musarurwa, Tomana successfully applied to have his reporting conditions scrapped. As part of his bail conditions, Tomana was reporting once a fortnight to the police.
The State was not opposed to the application, which was then granted by magistrate Mr Vakayi Chikwekwe.
Mr Chingwinyiso is being assisted by Messrs Malvern Musarurwa and Timothy Makoni.
Tomana is facing trial for criminal abuse of office after he allegedly dropped charges against suspects accused of attempting to bomb Gushungo Dairy.
Allegations in the other cases are that in 2004, Bright Matonga, then chief executive of Zimbabwe United Passengers Company (Zupco), was charged with culpable homicide.
It is alleged that the charge arose from a road traffic accident that claimed the life of Chipo Chikowore. Tomana allegedly called for the docket and instructed that the charges be dropped.
In 2006, Matonga was charged with contravening sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act. In December 2008, Tomana allegedly instructed Morgan Dube to drop charges after plea against Matonga.
The court heard that in 2006, Zupco board chairman Charles Nherera was charged with corruption. Tomana testified as a defence witness and Nherera was sentenced to three years in prison.
After sentence, Nherera unsuccessfully applied for bail pending appeal at the High Court. Nherera served his sentence and was released from prison in December 2008.
When Tomana was appointed AG, he declared that Nherera was innocent and wrongfully convicted. The court heard that former Bindura Hospital acting medical superintendent Beauty Basile was charged with criminal abuse of duty. She appeared before Harare Regional Magistrates Court.
Tomana ordered the withdrawal of charges after plea on November 24, 2009. The court heard that in October 2009, Patrick Mavros, a gold dealer, was charged with possession of gold without a licence.
Mavros admitted to the charges but Tomana directed that prosecution be declined, it is alleged.