File photo: SAPS (Twitter)

HARARE ‑ Kumbirai Hodzi was sworn-in as substantive prosecutor-general of Zimbabwe on Wednesday after being appointed to the post Tuesday.

The swearing-in ceremony took place at State House, with embattled president Emmerson Mnangagwa presiding.  

Hodzi had been serving in an acting capacity since July 2018.

His appointment as the head of the National Prosecuting Authority raised eyebrows since he reportedly came a distant sixth during interviews conducted by the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) last November.

Taking oath of office, Hodzi swore that he “will be faithful, observe the laws of Zimbabwe and bear true allegiance”.

The appointment of the new prosecutor-general was marred by chaos, after Mnangagwa rejected the names of three top candidates for being politically incorrect and requested new names from the JSC.

The JSC held interviews for the post last year, but politics delayed the announcement of the substantive.

During the interviews, Hodzi reportedly came sixth out of 10, with Calvin Mantsebo, Tinomuda Chakanyuka and Misheck Hogwe emerging as frontrunners.

Mantsebo is the director of intelligence, investigations and prosecution at the Anti-Corruption Commission of Sierra Leone, while Chinyoka is a former student activist and Hogwe is the former president of the Law Society of Zimbabwe.

Mantsebo was ruled out on the basis that very little was known about him, while Chinyoka was discredited for his previous association with the opposition MDC.

The other six participants in the interviews were former deputy prosecutor-general Florence Ziyambi, former MDC legislator Jessie Majome, former Bulawayo high court judge Maphios Cheda, former principal law officer in the justice ministry Noria Mashumba, as well as Harare lawyers Edmund Marondedze and Wendy Chingeya.

When Hodzi took over from Goba in an acting capacity, he promised a tough stance on corruption. “I am determined to curb corruption and other malpractices through prosecuting those found wanting,” he said. 

Since his appointment, he has superintended over the prosecution of several former government officials and secured the conviction of former energy and power development minister Sam Undenge.

African News Agency (ANA)