Mugabe instructs Tomana to take charge of Bennett case

Bennett, who will now appear in court on November 09, is facing terrorism charges. His case prompted his party to boycott the inclusive government until all outstanding issues of the power sharing deal are dealt with.

Tomana took over the role of lead State counsel from Michael Mugabe, a law officer in his office who all along had been handling Bennett’s prosecution.

The AG, whose appointment is controversial and has contributed to the fissures in the coalition government, opposed an application filed by Bennett’s lawyers seeking a postponement of the trial.

Although Tomana conceded that the State had not granted Bennett enough time to prepare his defence he argued that the matter is a serious case and of national interest and must be dealt with as a matter of urgency because it had plunged the transitional coalition government into a crisis.

Tomana, who was assisted by Florence Ziyambi, the Director of Public Prosecutions, and two law officers Michael Mugabe and Chris Mutangadura asked to Justice Musakwa to postpone the trial to October 27.

But Bennett’s lawyers comprising Beatrice Mtetwa, Trust Maanda and Blessing Nyamaropa, all members of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), who had earlier applied for postponement of the trial maintained that their client needed more time to engage a legal counsel of his own choice.

The defence lawyers also argued that the State was still to furnish them with other relevant papers and materials which it was depending on in the prosecution of the former Chimanimani legislator and that one of Bennett’s lawyers Mtetwa won’t be available on the suggested trial date.

Justice Musakwa then postponed the trial to 9 November 09 after Tomana agreed to a postponement following discussions with Bennett’s lawyers. Radio VOP