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Uproar over Goba appointment

A SERIOUS uproar is looming in government over the appointment of Advocate Ray Goba as Prosecutor General (PG) after it emerged that none of the three shortlisted candidates, including Goba, got the required marks.

By Wongai Zhangazha

On Wednesday President Robert Mugabe appointed Goba after he was selected by a panel of Judicial Services Commission (JSC) following public interviews. This has, however, led to some manoeuvres within government challenging his appointment
Questions are also been asked among senior officials in the judiciary as to why Goba was appointed when he was convicted in Namibia for obstruction of justice in a traffic related offence when the constitution states that a PG must possess the same attributes as a Supreme Court judge.

A “fit and proper person”, according to the dictates of law, must satisfy a raft of ethical and professional attributes, in particular honesty and reliability.

According to sources in the judiciary, the JSC submitted the names of Goba, Hogwe and Manase and — in order of performance — to the Justice ministry for onward submission to Mugabe.

However, the sources said the short-listed candidates failed to get the required points and this has divided the JSC.

“The argument in the judicial circles is that none of the interviewed candidates are suitable to be appointed PG because none of them managed to perform to maximum satisfaction and that their points were low. Goba, Hogwe and Manase scored below 60 marks. Their marks were between 50 and 59, yet the required score should be something above 70 marks,” a judicial source said.

The JSC last month interviewed five other candidates, namely Wilson Manase, Charles Chinyama, Misheck Hogwe, Tecler Mapota and Florence Ziyambi for the PG’s post.

The post of PG fell vacant after Mugabe fired former PG Johannes Tomana in June for incompetence and misconduct.

Despite his vast experience in criminal justice, Goba was questioned by the JSC chair Chief Justice Luke Malaba, JSC commissioners Lloyd Mhishi and Justice Happias Zhou on his conviction in Namibia.

Responding during the interview, Goba said the conviction was an unfortunate incident that should not have happened in the first place and was never regarded as serious by the Namibian authorities, who kept him on his job as director of public prosecutions.

“I believe that a reasonable person would look at the matter in a reasonable manner and not with an armchair view. It is a blot on my white piece of paper. I was a victim of a grave injustice,” Goba said.

The candidates, who are senior lawyers, were questioned about their pasts and issues to do with the National Prosecuting Authority.

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