HARARE – Prosecutor-general Johannes Tomana is being accused of violating the Constitution after engaging the services of senior army officers to do administration work in his office, the Daily News can reveal.
More than a dozen military officers are working in the Prosecutor-General’s office, including a colonel and four majors.
The Daily News understands Tomana requested the army officers’ deployment to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) in a letter to Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa as Justice minister in 2013, and the request was approved.
“We have close to 20 military people here performing administration work. It’s patently illegal what is happening.
“There’s a lot of friction between lawyers and these soldiers whose presence has never been explained. But what we know for a fact is that they are causing mayhem here,” one NPA official said.
Early signs of the friction first came to public light last year when Colonel Solomon Siziba, who is the director of administration in the NPA, allegedly assaulted Tomana’s deputy, Florence Ziyambi.
The other members of the military recruited by Tomana are Major Garikai Manyeruke and a Major Msipa.
Section 208 of the Zimbabwe Constitution says that “serving members of the security services must not be employed or engaged in civilian institutions except in periods of emergency.”
With Tomana battling to keep his job after criminal charges were filed against him and the Judicial Service Commission separately found him unfit for office and recommended his removal, the Daily News understands the military officers have drawn up a plan to ensure he stays by intimidating prosecutors lining up to testify against him in his criminal abuse of office trial.
The Daily News understands that Siziba, who is reportedly leading the operation, has called for a meeting of the NPA board on Wednesday this week which Tomana will chair — thumbing his nose at the JSC and sending a message that he is still in charge. Siziba’s role as the director of administration in the NPA automatically makes him the NPA board secretary.
Official sources say Tomana’s decision, working with Siziba, to call a board meeting this week is already causing ructions in the NPA with fears that it is the start of a sinister fightback plot by the embattled Prosecutor-General, a key ally of Mnangagwa in Zanu PF’s internecine succession drama.
Last week, Tomana requested the postponement of his trial to July after his lawyer, advocate Thabani Mpofu, told a Harare court that he (Mpofu) was unwell.
Watchers of the trial say the postponement, now gives Tomana time to crack down on prosecutors who will testify in his trial in which he stands accused of dropping charges against two army officers implicated in a plot to bomb a dairy plant owned by President Robert Mugabe and his wife, Grace.
An NPA source said: “Tomana wants to intimidate and scatter the prosecutors, and the military guys are at the heart of it. He has called a board meeting which we understand he wants to use to engineer the transfers of some of the prosecutors involved in his trial.
“For as long as he remains not suspended, it makes it very difficult for those prosecutors to give evidence against him because he has a lot of options at his disposal to make their life hell.”
The board meeting appears to have also been timed to coincide with the absence of Ziyambi, Tomana’s deputy and the vice chair of the NPA board. Ziyambi, who reported being assaulted by Siziba on February 13 last year and is thought to be at loggerheads with Tomana, received government authority to go on an overseas trip this week.
“What has really heightened everyone’s fears about Tomana’s intentions is that the notice for this board meeting went out without an agenda. It simply says ‘the agenda will follow in due course’.
“How can you call a meeting whose agenda you don’t know? Something really sinister is afoot,” an NPA official added.