Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter
Former Prosecutor-General Johannes Tomana’s return to private practice hangs in the balance two years after his sacking, amid reports that the Law Society of Zimbabwe (LSZ) is unwilling to re-admit him citing that he is not “fit and proper” to practise as a lawyer.
Mr Tomana was fired in June 2017, for misconduct and incompetence after a tribunal set by former president Mr Robert Mugabe to probe him, recommended his dismissal.
His dismissal was announced in a General Notice No. 292 of 2017 published in the Government Gazette on June 9, 2017, which said the former president had acted on the tribunal’s recommendations.
Two years after he was sent packing from the highly esteemed PG’s Office, Mr Tomana is still fighting to return to his roots.
Unimpeachable sources close to Mr Tomana’s matter, told The Herald that the outcome of the tribunal was haunting him.
The source said: “He cannot come back now because the regulator of the profession is demanding that he presents to the law society council findings of the tribunal that led to his sacking before his is re-admitted.
“The society wants to study the tribunal’s recommendations first to make a proper assessment on his suitability before he returns to the profession.”
However, when contacted for comment, LSZ president Mr Thandaza Masiye Moyo was diplomatic in his response.
He said Mr Tomana has never required to be re-admitted to the LSZ because he remains in the register of the legal practitioners of this country.
“The only thing is that when you leave the practice and you go elsewhere when you come back, there are certain processes that have to be followed,” he said.
“Council has to consider certain issues relating to where you were and how you were performing. What I can say for now is that the council is seized with the considerations and it has not made any deliberation.”
The decision to fire Mr Tomana came after a disciplinary tribunal chaired by Retired High Court judge Justice Moses Chinhengo found the former PG unsuitable to continue holding the esteemed office.
Other members of the tribunal were University of Zimbabwe law lecturer Mr Emmanuel Magade and lawyer Ms Melania Matshiya.
Mr Tomana was in 2016 suspended to allow the tribunal to hear and determine a slew of allegations against him, paramount among them being flagrant defiance of legitimate court orders.
In May 2008, Mr Tomana’s predecessor, Mr Sobusa Gula-Ndebele, was also removed from the then Attorney-General’s Office following recommendations of a tribunal.
The tribunal had found him guilty of failing to properly discharge his duties.
Mr Gula-Ndebele, however, is back in private practice.