Court Releases Zimbabwe’s Prosecutor General Who Was Arrested For ‘Obstructing Justice’


Zimbabwe’s Prosecutor General Johannes Tomana has appeared in court after his arrest on Monday. Tomana was accused of impeding justice after he dropped the charges against two suspects, out of the four arrested for trying to bomb President Mugabe’s Alpha Omega Dairies in Mazowe, about 50km north of Harare. They were accused also of unlawful attempt to overthrow Mugabe’s government.

The prosecutor general, who arrived the court under heavy police entourage was granted $1,000 bail by provincial magistrate Vakayi Chikwekwe. Tomana was accused of criminal abuse of power. He was also ordered to appear thrice a week at CID Harare Central Police Station. Tomana has been Zimbabwe’s attorney and prosecutor general since 2013.

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Furthermore, Tomana argued that the police has no right to interfere in his constitutional duties. His advocate Thabani Mpofu raised the argument and maintained that Tomana was unlawfully arrested and that his arrest would have remained unlawful since he did not commit any crime.

“The existence of the factual reason entitling anyone under whatever title or authority to proceed against the PG will also be an issue on the next remand date.

“This case brings the entire constitutional spectrum hearing on validity of the constitutional office, action of the police will be subject for debate,” he said.

His arrest and prosecution started when he allegedly wrote to president Robert Mugabe, telling him to officially withdraw charges leveled against two of the suspects Solomon Makumbe, 29 and Silas Pfupa, 37. The two aforementioned suspects were part of a-four-man team that raided Mugabe’s farm. Solomon Makumbe and his cohort Silas Pfupa were soldiers attached to 1 Field Regiment and the Zimbabwe Intelligence Corps.

The remaining two are Owen Kuchata, 34, and Borman Ngwenya, 30. They are leaders of a little-known political party called Zimbabwe People’s Front political party. Reports said that the prosecutor general had instructed his subordinate Michael Mugabe, to lay off the criminal charges against Solomon and Silas, who were to be state witnesses.

The men were arrested late last month after the police laid an ambush 100 metres from their target. After the arrest was made, four Molotov cocktails (petrol bombs), ammonium nitrate, nails and sand in 750 milliliter empty bottles of Brandy, a Zimbabwe People’s Front Party manifesto, party constitution and party documents were seized from them.

Also, report said that the men allegedly carried out a surveillance of President Mugabe’s rural home with the view of strengthening their plans to overthrow him. This surveillance was carried out on 1st and 2nd January.

Meanwhile Solomon and Silas are now in police custody, after they were re-arrested and charged with treason. Buzzsouthafrica gathered that the four-man squad erected a militia base in Mapinga, Mashonaland West province, where they planned to train people to forcefully take over government from the President.

However, after Tomana’s release, his lawyer Thabani Mpofu told reporters that it is only the constitution of Zimbabwe that can guarantee judicial independence. He said, “I feel that today, the constitution will sleep well. Prosecutor general is independent in the discharge of his duties. Certainly that discharge cannot be reviewed by the police. Where do they stop if they are unhappy? If you allow the police to arrest; why would they not arrest a judge, for instance, after he has rendered a determination and say we do not like this determination? To hell with your independence

The four men have been instructed to apply for bail at the High Court. They will however remain in police custody till 16th February.

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