Tomana threatens MDC
By Chengetai Zvauya, Staff Writer
ARARE – Attorney-general Johannes Tomana, a self-confessed Zanu PF
supporter, says he will continue prosecuting Prime Minister Morgan
Tsvangirai’s MDC supporters ahead of those from Zanu PF — declaring
defiantly, “the discretion is entirely in my hands”.
In an exlusive interview with the Daily News, Tomana — who is one of the
outstanding issues of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) — reiterated his
support for Zanu PF and President Robert Mugabe, Tsvangirai’s
archrival-turned awkward coalition government partner.
Tsvangirai and the MDC have been demanding Tomana’s removal as one of the
many pre-conditions for the holding of free and fair elections, accusing the
controversial AG of prosecuting people in a partisan manner.
Without denying that some Zanu PF perpetrators of political violence were
still roaming free around the country, Tomana described Tsvangirai’s calls
for the Johannes Tomana threatens MDC fair application of the law as
“It does not matter who we start to prosecute. Whether we start from the
middle, bottom or top it does not matter. The discretion is entirely in my
hands on who I should start to prosecute,” he said.
“It is like telling your manager not to dismiss you from work after you have
been late for duty because yesterday your workmate who was also late was not
dismissed. It is nonsense to make such a statement,” Tomana added.
Tomana’s utterances are significant as they manifest the deep political
divide and the uneven playing field in the country, as well as the
difficulties that the tottering coalition government, widely viewed as the
country’s best hope out of a debilitating decade-long political crisis, must
“Everyone is judged on his own misdeeds. The MDC people have not said they
are not committing offences. They are saying Zanu PF and them are offenders
and complaining that they cannot be arrested alone leaving Zanu PF out. If
you are guilty does it matter whether I have started with you leaving
others?” Tomana asked.
Since taking over as AG, Tomana has been forced to repeatedly defend
accusations that his blatant bias is a threat to the stability of the shaky
28-month-old coalition government.
Declaring his love for Zanu PF, Tomana said: “I do not see anything wrong in
me supporting Zanu PF. Is it a crime to do so? I know that there are some
lawyers like Innocent Chagonda who sit on many boards but are active MDC
members. Is it wrong for him (Chagonda) to do so? I am a citizen of this
country and I belong to a political party I choose”.
As a result, Tomana said, he would not leave his post despite ranking high
on the list of unresolved GPA issues.
The MDC argues that Tomana’s unilateral appointment in December 2008 was
irregular because the GPA signed in September of that year stipulated that
Mugabe needed to consult Tsvangirai on the appointment. Mugabe has
vigorously resisted this demand.
Tomana said Tsvangirai and the MDC should instead learn to respect him.
“They always say Tomana must go. To where? I am saddened by the events that
always surround my name. I don’t take it personally but it is wrong for them
to pass judgments on me without any evidence. They use their political
rallies to denounce my name, which is unfair to me. I wish the MDC
leadership could respect me and this office,” he said.
“The MDC has shamelessly and persistently said that I must go and have
passed judgments on my office. Without any evidence they talk about
selective application of the law and persecution without going into the
“They (MDC activists) are being arrested for doing something they are not
telling you about. They are talking nonsense saying they are being arrested
and that there is selective application of the law,” Tomana added.