Tomana’s bid to fire 5 hits snag

29 Jul, 2015 - 00:07 0 Views
Tomana’s bid to fire 5 hits snag Mr Tomana

The Herald

Mr Tomana

Mr Tomana

Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter—
Prosecutor-General Mr Johannes Tomana’s bid to fire five prosecutors over a strike, has hit a snag after the Supreme Court yesterday found that the prosecuting authority had flouted the Administrative Justice Act in dismissing the officers. Mr Tomana, when he was still Attorney-General in charge of both the civil and criminal division, withdrew prosecutorial powers from Mr Leopold Mudisi, Mr Dereck Charamba, Mr Patrobs Dube, Mehluli Tshuma and Musekiwa Mbanje for engaging in a strike seeking better working conditions.

The five were members of the executive for the Zimbabwe Law Officers Association and they were all fired for allegedly organising a strike.

The High Court ordered their reinstatement and nullified the withdrawal of certificate to prosecute.

That prompted Mr Tomana to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Justice Bharat Patel threw out an appeal by the then Attorney-General, saying the High Court was correct in nullifying Mr Tomana’s decision.

“In the result, the unanimous decision of the court is that the order granted by the High Court cannot be faulted and must be upheld, albeit for reasons that differ to some extent from those expounded by the learned judge a quo…

“It is accordingly ordered that the appeal be and is hereby dismissed with no order as to costs,” ruled Justice Patel.

Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba and Justice Paddington Garwe, concurred with the judgment.

It was the Supreme Court’s finding that Mr Tomana breached Section 3 of the Administrative Justice Act by not affording the prosecutors their right to be heard.

It was the court’s finding that Mr Tomana was expected to have strictly complied with the Administrative Justice Act considering his position.

“In the event, the unavoidable conclusion is that the appellant acted precipitately and in breach of the requirements of Section 3 of the Administrative Justice Act.

“I take the view that a strict standard of compliance with those requirements was expected of him (Mr Tomana) in his dealings with the respondents, particularly in his capacity as the legal supremo of the Government at the relevant time,” the court ruled.

Justice Ben Hlatshwayo, when he was still at the High Court, found that Mr Tomana was supposed to suspend the prosecutors pending a full inquiry by the Public Service Commission.

Chief law officer Mr Chris Mutangadura, appeared for the AG while Harare lawyer Ms Beatrice Mtetwa represented the five prosecutors.

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