Tomana loses case against prosecutors

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High Court judge Justice Ben Hlatshwayo on Wednesday ordered the reinstatement of the five Zimbabwe Law Officers Association (Ziloa) leaders who had been fired by Attorney-General
Johannes Tomana in October last year.

Justice Hlatshwayo set aside the letter written by Tomana, which sought to bar prosecutors Leopold Mudisi, Patrobs Dube, Dereck Charamba, Musekiwa Mbanje and Mehluli Tshuma from practicing, describing Tomanas action as null and void and of no force or effect.

He further ordered the immediate reinstatement of the five law officers.

The law officers are also members of the Ziloa executive.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights applauded the ruling saying it had proved that no one is above the law.

In his written judgment, Justice Hlatshwayo described as astounding Tomanas argument that his powers could not be subjected to judicial scrutiny, stating that such scrutiny does not encroach on the autonomy and independence of the Office of the AG (and that) to hold otherwise would be to make the AGs Office a law unto itself, contrary to the fundamental constitutional principle that no person or office, however powerful or important, should be above the law.

The stand-off between the AG and the Ziloa executive started when prosecutors went on strike in October last year.

The law officers were demanding that government, reviews their salary scales to match those of magistrates as they held similar qualifications.

Tomana went on to withdraw practicing certificates for the five ringleaders, saying they had organised an illegal industrial action.