By Robert Tapfumaneyi
A HARARE lawyer has reported Prosecutor General (PG) Kumbirai Hodzi to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) accusing him of abusing his powers to settle a legal battle.
Joshua Chirambwe, a legal practitioner with Lawman Law Chambers, believes he was being prosecuted for “daring to question the validity of his appointment in ConCourt”.
This follows his arrest and that of his lawyer, Thabani Mpofu for allegedly obstruction of justice.
Mpofu is also a top Harare lawyer best known for representing MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa during the latter’s Constitutional Court challenge against poll defeat in the 2018 presidential election.
The two lawyers early 2019 challenged the appointment of Hodzi as the country’s head of prosecution arguing he was “not a fit and proper person” to hold the lofty job.
In his letter to ZACC, Chirambwe said the entire process is with sinister intent and that Hodzi has corruptly abused his powers for personal benefit.
“It is my considered opinion that in doing so, he has committed the kind of criminal misconduct that the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) has jurisdiction,” Chirambwe wrote to ZACC.
“Sometime in January 2019 he filed out the Constitutional Court a constitutional application by which I challenged the appointment of Hodzi as PG.
“I brought the challenge that I believed that the provisions of the constitution bearing the matter of his appointment had not been studiously observed and that at any rate, he was not fit and proper person to hold the office over.
“The matter was debated and judgement reserved, judgement remains awaited.”
Chirambwe went on to say when Hodzi opposed his application, he picked whispers which seemed to suggest that the PG has instructed the police to arrest his counsel Advocate Mpofu arising out of this and a related application.
Mpofu was later arrested and is on $20 000 bail.
“On the 8th June 2020, I presented myself to the Police Anti-Corruption Unit (PACU), I was promptly arrested and taken to court,” he said.
“The current position therefore is that I am an accused person before the courts, and I am being prosecuted not by a private party but by the PG and under his authority.
“The conduct of the PG aggrieves me, these circumstances considered, I am of the view that the PG has misconducted himself in a criminal manner by abusing public power for his personal benefit.
“I have suffered as a result of the abuse by the PG of a constitutional power, yielded to him as a public trust for the vindication of the public good and the protection of the legitimate interest of the subjects of the state of Zimbabwe.
“I am a litigant in on-going litigation in which I challenge the validity of the appointment of the PG, the PG has on account of that challenge decided to prosecute me.”
Charambwe added, “His prosecution of me is for his benefit that is meant to punish me for daring to question the validity of his appointment.
“He has abused his power for private benefit, my prosecution in the face of a reserved judgement is designed to and has the undoubted effects of threatening the Constitutional Court.
“It is also meant to unduly influence the court in that it tells the court that it must find that my application is invalid.
“The fact that my lawyer is being prosecuted on account inter alia of his representation of me, adds to the abuse.”