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Zimbabwe’s Prosecutor-General Docked For Releasing Suspects

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Zimbabwe’s Prosecutor-General Johannes Tomana, who was arrested on Monday on a charge of abuse of office, or alternatively obstructing the course of justice, was on Tuesday night granted bail.

Tomana is alleged to have sanctioned the withdrawal of charges against two soldiers of a quartet accused of planning to bomb President Robert Mugabe’s Alpha and Omega Dairies in Mazowe, about 50km north of Harare.

Tomana was said to have instructed his subordinate, Michael Mugabe, to withdraw charges against the two, who would turn out to be witnesses.

The two soldiers, whose charges had been withdrawn, are Solomon Makumbe, 29, attached to 1 Field Regiment, and Silas Pfupa, 37, of the Zimbabwe Intelligence Corps.

They had been arrested along with Owen Kuchata, 34, and Borman Ngwenya, 30, leaders of a little-known Zimbabwe People’s Front political party.

The four now face treason charges.

Prosecuting, Timothy Makoni accused Tomana of abuse of office by instructing Mugabe to withdraw the charges against the duo.

However, Tomana’s lawyer, Thabani Mpofu, raised a constitutional breach point, saying the police had no authority to interfere with the discharge of his client’s duties.

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He said it would be unlawful to arrest Tomana, even if he had been caught on the wrong side.

“The existence of the factual reason entitling anyone under whatever title or authority to proceed against the Prosecutor General 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,” Mpofu said.

Tomana, who arrived at the court under heavily armed police guard, was granted 1,000 dollars bail, coupled with stringent reporting conditions, when he appeared before provincial magistrate Vakayi Chikwekwe at the Harare Magistrate’s Court.

The chief State lawyer was ordered to report three times a week at CID Harare Central Police Station, reside at his given address and not to interfere with witnesses.

source: leadership

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