Tendai Rupapa Senior Court Reporter—
Prosecutor-General Johannes Tomana, who is facing six counts of criminal abuse of office, has been indicted to appear at the High Court on February 13 next year for trial. Yesterday he appeared before Mr Vakayi Chikwekwe who served him with indictment papers. His lawyer, Mr Tazorora Musarurwa submitted that according to Section 66 (2a) of the CriminalProcedure and Evidence Act Chapter 9:07, his client was entitled to remain on bail and the court concurred.
- Tomana arrested at court
- Tribunal gives Tomana 10 days to respond
- Judgment reserved in Tomana appeal
- Tomana appeal deferred
- Tomana wants magistrate censured
According to the section, if a person is committed for trial at the High Court and has earlier been granted bail on the charges for which he is committed for, the grant shall stand but a High Court judge may alter conditions of the recognisance or revoke the bail and commit the person in prison.
In the past, suspects used to lose their freedom upon indictment and had to apply for bail at the High Court. 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 magistrate Ms 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.