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Swaziland born lawyer piles pressure on Justice Chinamhora

by Staff reporter
06 Nov 2023 at 05:00hrs | Views
SWAZILAND -born human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa has called on President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to rein in High Court judge Justice Webster Chinamhora.

In an open letter to Mnangagwa and JSC on Friday last week, Mtetwa accused the two of disregarding "important" constitutional obligations by failing to act on Justice Chinamhora.

She said JSC had recommended that Mnangagwa sets up tribunals to investigate the suitability of two High Court judges to remain in office early this year.

"A three-person tribunal was appointed in April 2023 by the President to inquire into the question of the removal of Justice (Martin) Makonese, and no similar appointment was made to inquire into Justice Chinamora's matter," Mtetwa wrote.

"Yet the referral to the President of the matters involving the two judges was made at the same time. Many months after the JSC referral, the President has yet to appoint a tribunal to inquire into the Justice Chinamhora matter.

"Legal practitioners whose clients are involved in the complaints against him are forced to appear before him in other matters."

She said complainants against Justice Chinamhora's alleged misdemeanours have been left in limbo, with some of the cases hanging in the balance.

"The public, which is entitled to justice dispensed by independent, impartial and fair judges who expeditiously act without ‘fear, favour, or prejudice', continues to have their matters heard by a judge who has been adjudged to have a case to answer by a panel of three judges," she said.

Mtetwa told the JSC to render appropriate advice to Mnangagwa on the matter.

"To the President, please discharge your constitutional obligations ‘diligently and without delay' as commanded by section 324 of the Constitution," she said.

JSC secretary Walter Chikwanha said: "We are not aware of that letter."

Justice Chinamhora's saga has sucked in Harare lawyer Tawanda Zvobgo after he allegedly got entangled in the case without the knowledge of parties to a disputed judgment.

Balwearie Holdings (Pvt) Ltd managing director Believe Gutu has since written to the Law Society of Zimbabwe asking it to investigate Zvobgo's conduct.

Gutu said that they had suffered great prejudice due to the alleged misconduct and corrupt activities by Zvobgo and Justice Chinamhora.

Source - newsday