Tomana presses ahead with prosecutions of prosecutors

Zimbabwean authorities are pressing ahead with a bid to punish five prosecutors who led a crippling work boycott over poor remuneration and working conditions last year.

Johannes Tomana
Johannes Tomana

Law officers and prosecutors staged wild cat strikes last year demanding a review of their salaries and conditions of service. The prosecutors staged demonstrations outside Attorney General Johannes Tomana’s office and at magistrates courts dotted around the country. The strike action was triggered by a government decision to award salary increases to regional magistrates and chief law officers in Tomana’s office while excluding the prosecutors who numbered about 200.

In an attempt to punish the leaders of the job action, Tomana, who was left embarrassed by the incident after failing to reign in his subordinates first charged five leaders of the prosecutors’ labour representative body, the Zimbabwe Law Officers Association (ZILOA) with defiance, misconduct and inciting other workers to stage a work boycott that lasted for two weeks.

He later served the ZILOA leaders Dereck Charamba, Leopold Mudisi, Patrobs Dube, Mehluli Tshuma and Musekiwa Mbanje with letters withdrawing his authority approving the prosecutors as his prosecutorial agents.

Last week, the ZILOA leaders were summoned to attend a disciplinary hearing to be convened early next month in Gweru to answer charges of misconduct.

The disciplinary committee will be chaired by Virginia Mabiza, the Secretary in the Ministry of Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs.

Prosecutors are among the country’s poorly paid public servants who in recent years have resorted to work boycotts to demand salary hikes and who wrestle for public transport with some of the suspects and criminals they would have prosecuted in courts.

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