Prosecutor-General (PG) Johannes Tomana has warned political vultures to stop trying to gag him from stating what the law says as his duty is just to implement and not to question it.
BY Elizabeth Ndhlovu-Dumbreni
Tomana, who has been under fire for allegedly supporting child marriages in an interview he had with a State newspaper last week, said he was “quoted out of context” with his remarks having been twisted to misrepresent facts.
“I was merely telling you what the law says and until the law says it, my obligation is to enforce that law, that is what the rule of law is all about. What does it mean when you twist that and then tell the people that must be guided correctly by the law that I have said it the other way,” he said.
The top prosecutor said as far as he was concerned, “the Constitution says that all of you must help me discharge my duties by supporting me. I must do it without fear, favour or prejudice”.
In the past week, he was a subject of rebuke with various women organisations coming out demanding that he be fired for allegedly stating that girls under the age of 12 who consent to sex must be allowed to settle for marriage.
Groups and legislators slammed Tomana, with some petitioning President Robert Mugabe to remove him from office.
“Just yesterday (Wednesday) there was a demonstration at my office. What was the demonstration about? (It was) about a statement that I was alleged to have made. They didn’t even care to establish with me what I said? I was telling you men that you are in trouble if you look at the consent of a girl that is below the age of 12, because as they say, for example girls mature much earlier and their bodies develop much faster than males,” Tomana said.
He added that sentences between a rapist and someone who had consensual sex with a girl under 16 varied because there was a degree of consent.
“But you are not going to be treated like the rapist who ravaged (a woman) by ginya (force). They will not sentence you to 10 years there, that’s why you find some of them doing community service or serving just a few years — it’s because of the accepted circumstances that, she had said yes, but we don’t want that to happen to (girls who are) below 16 years,” Tomana said.
Tomana said it was pathetic that most men preferred younger girls to older women.