Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission
RE: COMPLAINT AGAINST THE PROSECUTOR GENERAL, KUMBIRAI HODZI
My name is Joshua Chirambwe. I am a legal practitioner with Lawman Law Chambers and a Zimbabwean citizen. I address you in my personal capacity though fully aware of the fact that the issues I raise are of overarching public importance.
I wish to complain about the conduct of the Prosecutor General of Zimbabwe, Mr Kumbirai Hodzi. I take the firm but the respectful view that he has corruptly abused his power(s) 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 over.
I set out the basis of my complaint.
Sometime in or around January 2019, I caused to be filed out of the Constitutional Court a constitutional application by which I challenged the appointment of Kumbirai Hodzi as the Prosecutor General of Zimbabwe.
I brought the challenge on many grounds the two main ones being that I believed that the provisions of the Constitution bearing on the matter of his appointment had not been studiously observed and that at any rate, he was not a fit and proper person to hold the office of the Prosecutor General.
The application was resisted inter alia by the Prosecutor General, Mr Kumbirai Hodzi. Heads of argument were filed, the matter debated and judgment reserved. The judgment remains awaited.
When the application was opposed, I picked whispers which seemed to suggest that Prosecutor General Hodzi had instructed the Police to arrest my counsel, Advocate Mpofu arising out of this and a related application. I took note of the whispers.
On or around the 1st of June 2020, I became aware that Advocate Mpofu had been arrested on account, inter alia of his representation of me in the court challenge. There was a suggestion that I was to be his co-accused.
Advocate Mpofu was placed on remand by the Prosecutor General through his representatives. I was of the view that the Prosecutor General was hopelessly conflicted in the matter and had not acted independently of his personal interests in breach of section 196(2) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe. I just could not fathom how such a process could proceed in his name.
On the 8th of June 2020, it having become clear that the police desired to interview me, I presented myself to the police at the Police Anti Corruption Unit (PACU).
I was promptly arrested and taken to court on a form 242, a copy of which I attach to this letter. You are free to have your own views about the charges that I am facing although I intend to fight them in court.
Once at court, I was remanded, at the application of a representative of the Prosecutor General, and released on bail. The bail terms were themself set by a representative of the Prosecutor General.
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 Prosecutor General and under his authority.
The conduct of the Prosecutor General aggrieves me, these circumstances considered. I am of the view that the Prosecutor General has misconducted himself in a criminal manner by abusing public power for his own personal benefit.
I have suffered as a result of the abuse by the Prosecutor General of constitutional power, yielded to him as a public trust for the vindication of the public good and the protection of the legitimate interests of the subjects of the State of Zimbabwe.
I set out below the considerations that compel the charge that I make and commend those to your consideration:
1. I am a litigant in ongoing litigation in which I challenge the validity of the appointment of the Prosecutor General. The Prosecutor General has on account of that challenge decided to prosecute me. His prosecution of me is for his benefit in that it is meant to punish me for “daring” to question the validity of his appointment.
Whilst I must treat the Prosecutor General as a lawyer to whom some eminence must attach and who is consequently deserving of honour in virtue of his office, I am of the view that he has in my case abused his powers for his private benefit.
He does not stand in the place of a citizen who seeks justice through the criminal justice machinery. He is instead actively abusing his power(s) for private gain or satisfaction in breach of section 261(2)(a) and (d) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.
2. My prosecution in the face of a reserved judgment is designed to and has the undoubted effect 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.
This is a point that the Prosecutor General has not taken in his opposition. My prosecution is consequently an attack on the independence of the Constitutional Court which must deal with my application without fear or favour. I take the view that a man to whom the constitution guarantees independence cannot himself act on the basis of self-interest and indeed in a manner which threatens the independence of the apex court seized with determining his fate. The logic fails!
3. The fact that my lawyer is being prosecuted on account inter alia of his representation of me, adds to the abuse. The Prosecutor General is in purporting to do his work effectively interfering with my lawyer’s ability to benefit me by his skill. This is meant to leave me without a lawyer. I’m muzzled.
4. The entire process is with sinister intent. The substance of the charges is that an application brought prior to mine was brought in the name of a none existent litigant.
I am aware that sometime in 2019, the Law and Order section of the CID conducted investigations into this matter and determined that Mr Zuze does indeed exist. That information I believe was placed before the Prosecutor General because I believe it was at his instance that the investigations were conducted. It is at any rate in the public domain. That am being prosecuted under such circumstances reeks of malice and ill-will.
The actions of the Prosecutor General above particularised are inconsistent with his duties. He has engaged in them for the purposes of reaping a personal benefit to my prejudice. Prima facie, provisions of section 174 of the Code have become engaged. The constitution has itself been breached. Public power may not be used for purposes of serving selfish interests.
The events of the past few days confirm the whispers that I began hearing when my application was lodged. Circumstantially, I see the Prosecutor General’s selfish footprints in my prosecution and I am of the view that further investigation will yield more. Even without those footprints, the fact of the matter is that I am being prosecuted in his name, at his instance and for his OWN benefit.
I despair of nothing but justice; simple as it must be, between man and man. It is not lost on me that the Prosecutor General is the ultimate prosecuting authority. He, however, does not enjoy any immunity and is constitutionally “prosecutable”.
I believe there is in my troubles, a case worthy of your attention. I am ready and prepared to assist in any manner that may vindicate the public good. I formally place my complaint before you.
Cc. Minister of Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs
Judicial Services Commission
Attorney General of Zimbabwe
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs
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