Ray Goba
BornRay Hamilton Goba
  • Legal

Ray Goba is a Zimbabwean lawyer and former Prosecutor General. Goba was suspended in July 2018 following allegations that he had failed in his duties. Goba had been appointed the acting Attorney General after Johannes Tomana was suspended in September 2017.

Ray Goba tendered his resignation on the 8th of August 2018, after he was scheduled to appear before a tribunal ascertain whether he was still fit to continue as the country’s top prosecutor.[1]


Goba learned at St Augustines High School from 1973 to 1978 before studying towards a Bachelor of Law at the University of Zimbabwe. He also holds a Postgraduate degree in Law & Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, a Certificate in Criminal Prosecutions from the United Kingdom.[2]


Deputy Prosector General in Namibia

After serving in the Zimbabwean justice ministry, Goba was seconded and offered a two-year contract by the Namibian government.[3] In Namibia, Goba served as Deputy Prosecutor General in Namibia from 1998 for 5 years.

In 2002, he was convicted in a Namibian regional court for "driving a vehicle on a public road with excessive blood alcohol concentration"', "failing to obey a road traffic sign" and " attempting to defeat or obstruct the course of justice". Goba appealed to the High Court but the convictions were upheld except for the "driving a vehicle with excessive blood alcohol concentration" for lack of proof. He later appealed to the Supreme Court but his convictions were upheld.

Following his conviction, the Namibian government declined to renew his employment permit which lapsed on December 31 2010 after he failed to secure work and residence permits. At the time he was the Chief Director of Legal Services and International Cooperation in the Ministry of Justice. In 2011, Goba appealed the decision to deny him a work permit at Minister of Home Affairs and Immigration and also sought an order to be granted permanent residency. His applications were refused on the grounds that he had been convicted of a crime and that this made a prohibited immigrant. [4]

Appointment as Zimbabwe's Prosecutor General

In July 2016, Goba was sworn in as the acting Prosecutor General on July 7 2016.[5]

In September 2017, Goba was appointed as substantive Prosecutor-General (PG) following the dismissal of Johannes Tomana on account of gross incompetence and misconduct. Goba had been acting PG since July 2017.

In October 2017, the president Robert Mugabe revoked his appointment. The government announced in an Extraordinary Gazette, General Notice 642 of 2017, that “it is hereby notified that the captioned General Notice that was published in the Gazette Extraordinary on the 13th September 2017, is repealed.” No reasons were given for the repealing of his appointment.[6]

ZLHR commented that it was Goba's removal from PG's office was unconstitutional. "It is unconstitutional for President Mugabe to seek to remove Advocate Goba by changing his mind forty-four (44) days after having exercised his executive powers by appointing Advocate Goba as the new PG."[7]

In November 2017, after Robert Mugabe was removed from office through a military coup, ZLHR approached the High Court arguing that the government’s move to reverse Goba’s appointment as substantive PG was unprocedural. Justice Priscilla Chigumba ruled in ZLHR's favour effectively 'reinstating' Goba.[8]

Suspension from Prosecutor General Position in July 2018

In July 2018, Goba was suspended from the position of Prosecutor General. The charges levelled against him were failing to prosecute high-profile graft cases, travelling without Cabinet approval, using abusive language and general abuse of office. The suspension followed recommendations of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) on processes leading to the removal of a PG from office in terms of Section 187 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.[9]


  1. Ray Goba Resigns As Prosecutor General ⋆ Pindula News, Pindula News, retrieved: 10 Sep 2018
  2. Ray Goba, LinkedIn, published: No Date Given, retrieved: July 8, 2016
  3. Zim lawyer loses fight for work permit, Namibian Sun, published: June 21, 2011, retrieved: July 8, 2016
  4. Mugabe Appoints Convicted Criminal Ray Goba Prosecutor-General, PaZimbabwe, published: 14 Sep 2017, retrieved: 14 Jul 2018
  5. President gives Tomana tribunal 3 months, Herald, published: July 8, 2016, retrieved: July 8, 2016
  6. Zimbabwe Govt Revokes Prosecutor General's Appointment, VOA, retrieved: 14 Jul 2018
  7. Removal of recently appointed Prosecutor General, retrieved: 14 Jul 2018
  8. Goba remains Prosecutor-General: High Court - NewsDay Zimbabwe, NewsDay Zimbabwe, published: 22 Nov 2017, retrieved: 14 Jul 2018
  9. PG Ray Goba suspended, The Herald, retrieved: 14 Jul 2018