Zim’s top prosecutor faces jail for defying court order

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ZIMBABWE – Harare – Zimbabwe’s constitutional court has threatened to jail the country’s top prosecutor for refusing to allow action against a ruling party legislator accused of raping a child.

The court sentenced prosecutor-general Johannes Tomana to 30 days in prison if he fails to comply with two earlier court orders within 10 days, sparking calls Friday for his resignation.

One of the two cases which Tomana refused to pursue involves a legislator from President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party, Munyaradzi Kereke, who is accused of raping an underage girl.

The other case involves fraud charges against Jane Mutasa, a former chairwoman of a mobile telephone company.

The court ordered Wednesday that Tomana be jailed unless he allowed private prosecutions of the accused within 10 days. If he failed, he would also be disbarred from legal practice.

“This is an officer of the court who deliberately disobeys a court order. It’s not something that this court will take lightly,” chief justice Godfrey Chidyausiku was quoted as saying by local media.

Tomana would not comment Friday.

“I am in Russia, let’s talk when I am back on the 9th (November),” he told AFP by telephone.

The main opposition, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), called for Tomana to resign.

“He is wholly unfit for purpose, in fact he does not know the purpose of his office i.e. to protect the public from criminals,” the MDC said in a statement.

“The MDC therefore calls upon the prosecutor-general to resign before he does any more harm.”

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