Home » Legal and Judicial Affairs » Tomana Clarifies Position On Police Prosecutors

The National Prosecuting Authority has refuted claims that prosecutors are challenging the use of police as prosecutors in the country’s courts of law to the detriment of criminal suspects’ rights to fair trial.

The NPA issued a statement yesterday dissociating itself from an application filed at the Constitutional Court by the Zimbabwe Law Officers Association (Ziloa) challenging the use of the police officers as prosecutors, claiming they pose threats to the fair trial rights of criminal suspects.

Ziloa is seeking an order forcing the NPA and Prosecutor-General Mr Johannes Tomana to disengage all members of the security services within its ranks, arguing that the independence and impartiality of the officers was not guaranteed.

Ziloa secretary-general Mr Dereck Charamba deposed an affidavit accusing the NPA and Mr Tomana of breaching the Constitution by using security officers to prosecute suspects.

“We refute the insinuation that any prosecutor has challenged the police as there is no prosecutor who has done so,” said the NPA.

The NPA also said Mr Charamba who purports to represent Ziloa was fired by the Civil Service Commission.

“Mr Charamba, therefore, lacks the legal capacity to act on behalf of Zimbabwe Law Officers Association. Even if the contentions made by Mr Charamba in his affidavit are taken into account, the application will obviously manifest mischief on his part . . .”

The NPA said under Section 259 of the Constitution, the Prosecutor General and other officers of the national prosecuting authority are a public office, but do not form part of the civil service.

“It is, therefore, clear that the National Prosecuting Authority not being part of the Civil Service as expressly provided by the Constitution is insulated from constitutional restrictions that prohibit members of the security services from being employed or engaged in civilian institutions,” said the NPA.

“Members of the police service can thus lawfully be authorised by the Prosecutor General at his discretion to appear on his behalf in any court of law.”

Ziloa listed the NPA, Mr Tomana, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa and Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri as respondents.

Source : The Herald