Prosecutor-General Johannes Tomana yesterday told the court that the stalling of his criminal abuse of duty trial by the State was prejudicing his functions.
The trial, which was scheduled for yesterday, was reset to June 1 and Tomana’s bail condition was relaxed to reporting once a fortnight at CID Law and Order instead of every Friday.
Tomana is charged with criminal abuse of duty as a public officer or alternatively defeating or obstructing the course of justice after he allegedly ordered the release of two men — Solomon Makumbe and Silas Pfupa — suspected of trying to petrol-bomb the First Family’s Alpha Omega Dairy Farm in Mazowe.
Through his lawyer, Mr Tazorora Musarurwa, Tomana insisted his trial should have started yesterday.
“When the matter was last remanded, April 27 was set as the trial date, this means today (yesterday) trial should have started,” he said. “On February 14 we went to the national director of prosecution informing them that we had not yet received State papers.
“They said we should be served with State papers immediately so that trial could start. Today we are served with witness statements, which were recorded at the beginning of February.
“There is no reason State failed to serve us in time. We thought with the sensitivity of the matter State would want to conclude it in time.”
Mr Musarurwa said they wanted an earlier trial date and Tomana should be removed from reporting every Friday at CID Law and Order because it was affecting his functions as the Prosecutor General of the country.
The prosecutor, Mr Timothy Makoni, submitted that the judiciary system is like a conveyor belt and other matters are already in queue.
“It would be unfair to remove other matters to accommodate the accused. He should wait his turn in that chain of events,” said Mr Makoni. “We are amenable to have accused’s reporting conditions reduced to once a fortnight.”
Harare magistrate, Mr Vakayi Chikwekwe, adjourned the matter and relaxed Tomana’s reporting conditions. He is on $1 000 bail.
It is the State’s case that Makumbe, Pfupa, Kuchata and Borman 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 Mrs Ziyambi, Mr Mutsonziwa, chief law officers Michael Mugabe and Chris Mutangadura went through the documents and gave the greenlight 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 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. herald