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Deputy Chief Justice in soup

by Staff reporter
20 Oct 2022 at 05:59hrs | Views
WOMEN's Comfort Corner founder Rita Mbatha has filed a letter of complaint against Deputy Chief Justice  Elizabeth Gwaunza to Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi and the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).

This follows another complaint against the top judge from businessman Tendai Mashamhanda.

In the letter dated September 29, Mbatha accuses Gwaunza of miscarriage of justice in three different cases where she is involved.

In one of the incidences, Mbatha accuses Gwaunza of proceeding with a hearing involving her when she had indicated that she was incapacitated to attend a hearing on June 6 this year.

"A unilateral decision was made to proceed with the matter in my absence although the bench was acutely aware that I was incapacitated," read Mbatha's letter.

"The Deputy CJ has been part of the bench during the second term in my three applications which I will detail in this complaint. Judicial hostility and humiliation are plain for anyone to see. It is my humble view, with respect, that certain judges do not intend to ensure that they address disputes involving me in a manner that accords with the independence, impartiality, dignity, accessibility and effectiveness of the court."

She wants Ziyambi to launch an investigation on Justice Gwaunza, saying she has been acting in breach of articles of the Code of Judicial Conduct as a top judge of the Constitutional Court.

 "I also believe that there should be an independent body seized with the complaints of the litigants against the Judiciary for a transparent process so that all complaints are taken seriously. Personally, I no longer have confidence with the judges of the esteemed courts as I now believe that there is a deliberate concerted decision to prejudice me, unlawfully evict me despite basic evidence mandating judgment to the contrary."

Other people who have complained against Gwaunza's conduct include local businessman Mashamhanda, and ex-judge Erica Ndewere who wants the learned judge to recuse herself on her case.

Mashamhanda has also accused Justice Gwaunza of working in cahoots with lawyers to tarnish High Court judge Justice Tawanda Chitapi‘s image for presiding over a scheduled court hearing in which he gave a default judgment in favour of Puwayi Chiutsi who had sold a residential property to him for US$230 000.

Mashamhanda alleges that Justice Gwaunza was not only conflicted, but that she abused her office and obstructed the course of justice.

Source - Newsday Zimbabwe
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