Home » Legal and Judicial Affairs » Tomana Calls for Laws to Fight Corruption

Government should capacitate institutions mandated to fight corruption while creating an enabling legal framework if the country is to win the fight against the scourge that has become endemic, Prosecutor General Mr Johannes Tomana said yesterday. Mr Tomana, who is also the acting Attorney-General, said this during a briefing with the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs on the functions and status of the National Prosecuting Authority.

“Until Government is able to get on top of corruption, we are not going anywhere,” he said.

“We are seven months (since the First Session of the Eighth Parliament was officially opened by President Mugabe) down the line and those institutions as you know are either non-existent or incapacitated both on the legal framework and resource aspect of it.”

Mr Tomana said the NPA was still to be fully functional as it had no staff complement of its own while the enabling legislative framework had not yet been put in place.

“We have not been able to operate at an optimum. We don’t have adequate human resources and at that level you expect adequate budgetary support.

“As we speak it is the most unsupported institution with a very heavy load on its shoulders,” he said.

The NPA was created as an independent prosecuting authority whose functions were separated from the AG’s office.

Commissioners to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission are also yet to be appointed since the lapse of the tenure of the previous commission.

Zimbabwe is battling corruption following exposure of a number of corruption cases and abuse of resources in parastatals and local authorities.

Mr Tomana reiterated that his support for Zanu-PF was his constitutional right but called for people to judge him on professional conduct not his political preferences.

“All Zimbabweans enjoy the constitutional right to have a political mind and a constitutional right to vote for a party of their choice and it’s all up to an individual to make it public,” he said.

“I understand the independence of this institution that what it bids the incumbent is to be professional and unbiased. We are supposed to prosecute without fear, without favour, without bias and without prejudice.

“When I am given a docket I should not be afraid of nobody. I should not be encouraged directly or indirectly.

“The only thing I must consider is whether or not with the facts and with the law before me a crime was committed,” Mr Tomana said.

He said the independence required of him at the NPA did not mean he could not join a political party or club of his choice.

“The independence doesn’t preclude me from associating with any political party that persuades me when I am a registered voter.

“The only consideration is whether I am qualified as a lawyer,” he said.

“I know that the independence I am supposed to exercise is professional independence.

“Professional independence has nothing to do with which club I go to or which church I go to. You must judge me on the decisions I make professionally.”

Source : The Herald