Tom and Jail..Prosecutor General Johannes Tomana arrested

Tendai Rupapa Senior Court Reporter—
PROSECUTOR General Johannes Tomana yesterday appeared in court charged with criminal abuse of office and obstructing the course of justice after he allegedly ordered the release of two men suspected of trying to bomb a dairy owned by President Robert Mugabe and the First Lady.
The two men — Solomon Makumbe and Silas Pfupa with their alleged accomplices Owen Kuchata, Borman Ngwenya — recently appeared in court charged with possession of weaponry for sabotage and money laundering for terrorism purposes over the alleged January 29 plot at the First Family’s Alpha Omega Dairy farm in Mazowe.
However, they were back in court yesterday facing a more serious charge of treason.
Prosecutors say Tomana directed the withdrawal of charges before plea against Makumbe and Pfupa and unilaterally suggested that the two be treated as witnesses.
The Prosecutor General, who was driven to court in the back of an open top police truck following his arrest on Monday, appeared before Harare provincial magistrate Vakayi Chikwekwe under heavy police guard. He was released on $1,000 bail coupled with some stringent conditions after Chikwekwe ruled that he was not a flight risk.
Chikwekwe said the State’s fears could be allayed by the stringent bail conditions.
“I’m not convinced that he is a flight risk. An accused person is presumed innocent until proven guilty hence the right to liberty should not be interfered with. The State laboured to prove its assertions therefore bold assertions do not suffice in the circumstances,” the magistrate said.
“There’s no single proof that he tried to abscond or interfere with investigations. What I can say is that the accused person can be ordered by the court not to interfere with witnesses and investigations.”
Chikwekwe also said that seriousness of an offence on its own was not sufficient to deny an accused person bail adding that even in murder cases, suspects are granted bail.
As part of the bail conditions, Tomana was ordered to surrender his passport and to report thrice a week to CID Law and Order section.
He was also ordered to reside at his given address and not to interfere with witnesses among them the national director of public prosecution Florence Ziyambi and her deputy Nelson Mutsonziwa until the matter is finalised.
He was remanded to February 16.
He is being represented by Advocate Thabani Mpofu instructed by Alex Mambosasa and Tazorora Musarurwa.
Advocate Mpofu notified the court of his intentions to challenge various issues at the next hearing.
Appearing for the State, Timothy Makoni and Gwinyai Shumba opposed bail.
They called the investigating officer Assistant Commissioner Thulani Ncube who gave evidence in support of refusal of bail by the State.
Asst Comm Ncube said Tomana was facing a serious offence which called for imprisonment if convicted hence was likely to abscond if granted bail.
He added that the police needed more time to conduct further investigations saying there might be other people who aided him in committing the offence.
“The offence before this court is a serious one in the sense that the accused committed this offence during his pursuance of duty as the prosecutor general. The crime calls for incarceration if found guilty hence for that reason he is likely to abscond,” he said.
Asst Comm Ncube added that witnesses in this case were his subordinates hence he was likely to interfere.
“He’s running a powerful office which determines the direction in which prosecution should be directed. He’s likely to cause trouble to these witnesses and influence them,” he said.
He also said that Tomana was likely to interfere with investigations as police were yet to record statements from some of the witnesses, adding that they had only managed to record a statement from Chief Law Officer Michael Mugabe, who had been initially arrested and later released.
Tomana, through his lawyers, argued that there was nothing serious about the allegations he is facing. He said what he did was above board as he used his discretion.
Advocate Mpofu said section 12 of the National Prosecuting Act gives the Prosecutor General the powers to determine prosecution.
He also said that section 260 of the constitution states that no-one can direct the Prosecutor General when he is exercising his prosecutorial functions.
Advocate Mpofu argued that if a Prosecutor General commits an offence, he must be removed from office in the same way a judge is removed from office in terms of section 178 of the constitution.
After removal, he can then be tried, said Adv Mpofu.
He said that police were overstepping for they could not tell the Prosecutor General what to do.
“The evidence produced in this court is hopeless and an insult to the intelligence of the court. This is a clear fact of interference by the police. The police take orders from the PG and the same police is now reviewing the prosecutorial functions. The police shouldn’t arrest to investigate,” he said.
It is the State’s case that Makumbe, Pfupa, Kuchata and Ngwenya were arrested for possession of weaponry for sabotage and money laundering for terrorism purposes.
On January 25, their request for remand placement forms were taken to the National Prosecuting Authority where Ziyambi, Mutsonziwa, Michael Mugabe and Chris Mutangadura went through the documents and gave the green light for the four to be placed on remand.
The quartet was taken to court for initial remand and was remanded in custody.
On January 29, the State alleged Tomana, knowing full well that police investigations were still in their infancy and without having sight of a complete docket, directed the withdrawal of charges before plea against two of the accused — Makumbe and Pfupa.
The two were released from remand.
He unilaterally suggested that the two be treated as witnesses which was contrary to the evidence at hand which is linking them to the offence, the court heard.
Prosecutors say Ngwenya is a member of the Zimbabwe National Army’s 1 Field Regiment, and Makumbe a member of the Zimbabwe Intelligence Corps. Kuchata is described as the leader of the little known Zimbabwe People’s Front (ZPF) political party.
The First Family’s multi-million-dollar dairy and processing plant produce milk, ice cream, chocolate and other products. Police reportedly got wind of the men’s plans and arrested them last Friday morning metres from the facility.
They were allegedly found in possession of four 750ml brandy bottles containing petrol, ammonium nitrate, nails, and sand — ingredients of a petrol bomb.
Party documents, including the ZPF manifesto and constitution were also seized.

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  • sengidhiniwe

    Arresting for political expediency trying to protect a stolen dairy farm and a 92 year old!

    • nsingo

      he could be a PF person, they have to remove him

      • blarazonke

        Good observation, he was in the right faction during gamatox and survived. This sudden down turn could be related to nocturnal activities with PF. The headline shld have been “Tom And Jere”, kkkkk.

  • Marcus

    Editor..its not section 178,its section 187 of the new Constitution which provides for the removal of judges from office..

  • okapi mpofu

    Laye kwaze kwamfica untando kayiphikiswa tomana, his wings should be clipped full stop

  • Mahlabathi

    mmmmmmmmm . no comment .

    • Zuze

      You are next Ndoda. Get your affairs in order. Kikikikiki.

      • Essexvale

        His “goose is cooked” as the Doc says.Must be looking for the “right” faction. But then; that is an impossible task in these factional wars. The goalposts keep changing. There is however one plus point in this for old bra Jo; he will be benefiting physically from all that running around !!

    • Mpisi

      Hey Ndoda , did you go to the head count at ZRP. Remember to bring your qualifications and the info on when you joined the force. I am told they are after the ghost workers. How can you be on Chihure’s payroll and he doesn’t know you exist…….lol!

      • Mahlabathi

        i didn’t say anything , man. Why are losing sanity. Maybe the mere of my name triggers dangerous responses.

  • Doctor Do little

    Someone is pulling the strings here. It is refreshing to see Tomana get his own but at the same time somewhere along the line there is a puppeteer. ZRP don’t just arrest people like Tomana without being instructed from the top. It looks like his goose might be cooked. If he is not careful whilst driving he might “SEE A DOG”

    • Essexvale

      Hahashahaha !!!! Nice one !! Hey Doc; when did you develop a sense of humour. You always appeared as the dour, prim and proper moderator of morals on this platform. But still …. you’ve made my day !!

      • Doctor Do little

        Thanks my fiend. Dealing with Jotham can be life changing.

        • Doctor Do little

          Sorry I meant friend. My spelling is getting worse.

        • blarazonke

          Kkkkk, he has been off for some time now!! But once in a while another idiot pops up with the Jotham style and I suspect its him changing names like a chamelieon.

    • blarazonke

      They ferried him to the courts in an open truck just like a common criminal, Kkkkk, I think his days are numbered. The top judges have beef with him too because of his arrogance. And Dr Amai has been furious about his utterances on under age girls which resulted in ppl refering to her as Dr Fugu. Kkkkkk.

      • Mahlabathi

        At least it shows that no one is above the law. Why aren’t you happy?.

        • Zuze

          Above what Law?

          • Mahlabathi

            If he is not performing ……….. what next?. out in the cold.

          • Zuze

            Who in Zanu is performing. AH but yes they are performing acts of destruction. They are performing destroying the economy. You are right ndwangu.

        • mkhuthuzi

          one day Tomana will emerge a hero, when he tells his heroism like how the chinotimbas tell of their war credentials, we never know which party he stands for

          • Mahlabathi

            i did not know that senile guys are regarded as heroes. ….which party?. Kikikikikikikiiiiiiiiiiii. Some minds are not so clever.

          • Zebron

            Bakutwalise qatha ndoda. You are now looking more and more foolish.

        • mkhusto

          Have they arrested mugabe for gugurahundi. Have they arrested anyone in zanu for corruption. Clearly you have no idea what you are talking about.

        • blarazonke

          Kkkkk, suggests some applauding. Kudos to who ever is playing the puppets.

      • Mixed Race

        Let him feel the bad treatment he used to give to Beatrice Mtetwa for trying to defend poor people and the opposition party members.He is too involved in the factional fights in such a way that he compromised his current position.They tried to belittle J Moyo using the misguided and naive war vets with the support of their minister.We told them using New Zimbabwe website that without J Moyo their party is completely finished.We are the minority but we have brains to confuse and expose their ill-informed tactics.Politics requires those with common sense and wisdom to outwit your opponents.Violence is for the brainless people.

    • Dr Fayke PHD


  • okapi mpofu

    kanti angithi utomana ulabangane bakhe abavikelayo ukuthi bangabotshwa okereke

  • Essexvale

    With the escalating succession wars in full swing I’d venture to say that this has all the trappings of a smear campaign. Could be that Tomana has lost his shine because he belongs to the “wrong” faction. But he’s a key figure in the thoroughly discredited Z party and now is the victim of the very system that he upheld … at least until the recent developments.. I shall not shed any tears for him, though I shall be watching with very keen interest to see just how he will manage to extricate himself from this mess.

  • blarazonke

    Pane nyaya. Tomana was trying to do another Kereke. We will see who is behind all this. What is Tomana’s interest in protecting these “terrorists” who were targeting the president? Either he is in it or he knows that the charges were framed.

    • qili

      tomana has been strange from the beginning remember the child marriages he seemed to be in support of, then the kereke incident, now the suspected terrorists

      • blarazonke

        The idiot is going down the drain. There is powerful hand behind all this and I hope its Dr Amai. You cross her path, you are sure dead like Midzi.

  • musa

    “police shldnt arrest to investigate” this is zimbabwe & in zimbabwe police arrest to investigate. prosecutors had no problems with that, opposing bail of suspects because police are still investigating. now that the shoe is on the other foot you want to claim it hurts? taste of your medicine.

    • Zim1

      Those are the things which should have been included in constitution

  • My name is your name

    What’s the point of blowing up a business already collapsing on its own? For military and intelligence personnels they are not very smart or good.

  • Bambanani

    Isikhuni sitshisa umkhwezeli…………

  • chirandu_mukuru

    These guys are just persecuting Tomana…it’s politics. Has the term “treason” been redefined to suit certain agendas? Is Mugabe now the state? I doubt if there is any truth to the case of the men accused of a plot to bomb Mugabe’s business premises.

    • Changamira

      Let he that persecuted Beatrice feel how it is to be persecuted.

  • Bayethe muzukulu

    What is disturbing is the false technicality/complication being thrown into this someone telling me that there is someone in this world who can’t be arrested? Yikho eganga. If I was that much above the law ngabe ngigange ngiyanuka.

  • Bhonklanti

    one makes his bed and he has to lie on it……

  • chidhara

    Kasi ari kwa Amai Mujuru here mukomana uyu kana kwa ngwena manje uno nyura Mujuru to survive mu zimba just go to the slogan munhu wese kuna Amai and u be safe