Johannes Tomana Dies From Suspected Food Poisoning; Police Called In


Johannes Tomana, who was serving as Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has died. He was 55.

Johannes Tomana death

The former Attorney-General and Prosecutor-General of Zimbabwe died suddenly on Sunday 6 August, 2023, in the morning.

He had visited his rural home in Honde Valley when he suddenly fell sick—complaining of “stomach pain” as confirmed by relatives. He tragically passed on while efforts to transfer him to Harare were being made.

The family has since called the police in, requesting an investigation as they suspect possible food poisoning.

A family member who requested anonymity (as he was not cleared to talk to the media) said:

“We shared our concerns with Ruda police in Honde Valley and we were informed that CID Forensics is on its way from Harare.”

Johannes Tomana was a legal practitioner by profession who “detoured” from private law practice to take up public office when he was appointed the Attorney-General of Zimbabwe in 2009. In 2013, Tomana became Prosecutor-General.

The office of Prosecutor-General was not all rosy for Tomana, and ended up on a rather ugly note.

In 2017, Tomana was unceremoniously dismissed from the office of Prosecutor-General on charges of misconduct and incompetence. These charges included defying court orders. His dismissal came in the wake of a tribunal set up by former strongman Robert Mugabe that recommended his removal from office.

Controversy rocked his tenure as Prosecutor-General. He once made a rancid remark insinuating that children aged 12 could consent to sex—and this elicited torrents of public ire; and a public rebuke from then-First Lady Grace Mugabe.

Prominent Zimbabwean academic Ibbo Mandaza poured his tribute to Johannes Tomana, saying:

“Tomana was one of the finest lawyers that Zimbabwe has produced, it’s a pity that his detour to political and diplomatic office deprived some of us of his tremendous legal skills.”

Johannes Tomana mounted an attempt to salvage his private legal practice career in the post-Mugabe era when he applied to return to private practice as a lawyer—but his application was initially denied by the Law Society of Zimbabwe after he failed the “fit and proper person” test.

In 2020, Tomana was then appointed to diplomatic office by President Emmerson Mnangagwa as the ambassador to the DRC.

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