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High Court judge caught up in another scandal

by Staff Reporter
01 Apr 2013 at 21:25hrs | Views
HIGH Court judge Justice Charles Hungwe is caught up in another scandal after he reportedly unprocedurally granted a notice of withdrawal in a house wrangle pitting Old Mutual chief executive Jonas Mushosho and a man who bought the latter's property.

Mushosho reportedly sold a residential stand in Bluff Hill, Harare, to Lloyd Mudimu, who built his house before the former turned the tables and sought to nullify the  deal.

The dispute spilled into the High Court where Mudimu won his case before Justice Susan Mavangira on September 24, 2008.

Justice Mavangira ordered Mushosho, who was represented by his lawyer Mr Tapuwa Mudambanuki, to sign all the necessary documents to effect transfer of Stand Number 2819 Bluff Hill under Deed of Transfer Number 4804/98 into Mudimu's name.

After the judgment was issued, the wrangle between Mushosho and Mudimu over the control of the property continued in the High Court until the various cases were consolidated into a single case with another High Court judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu rescinding a default judgment that had been entered against Mudimu in the consolidated case No HC2775/10.

However, what is in the eye of the storm is the notice of withdrawal that Justice Hungwe granted, after he was allegedly misled that Mudimu had dropped his lawsuit against Mushosho, when in fact the case was still pending in court.

Justice Hungwe signed an order that was fraught with irregularities, which Mudambanuki then used to evict Mudimu from the property.

The order reads: "At Harare on this 8th April 2008 before the Honourable Justice C Hungwe . . . (1) Respondent (Mudimu) with action in HC2775/07 withdrew its case and tendered costs on 26th Februray 2010. (2) That the Honourable F Chatukuta J's order in HC3878/07 is hereby revived thereby superseding the Honourable C Bhunu's order in case No HC538/08."

In the order, Justice Hungwe also ordered Mudimu to vacate the property saying: "The agreements of sale between Respondent (Mudimu) and one impersonator 'Jonas Mushosho' dated June 23, 2006 and June 28, 2006 be and hereby declared null and void."

He declared Mushosho as the sole owner of the property and set-aside the spoliation order granted to Mudimu in case Number 3877/07.

In an interview with The Herald, the aggrieved Mudimu said after he won his case he never withdrew the case and queried the authenticity of the notice of withdrawal.

He said although he reported the matter to the Commercial Crimes Unit nothing materialised after the investigation officer assigned the case was frustrated at the High Court.

"The lawyer, Mr Mudambanuki, after unsuccessfully challenging our property wrangle with Jonas Mushosho,  'forged' a notice of withdrawal claiming to have been done by my lawyers with the intention of getting an order from Judge Hungwe to evict me," said Mudimu.

"I never instructed the withdrawal of the case neither did my lawyers.

"There is no date of withdrawal (on the notice of withdrawal) except the year 2009.

"There is no proof that Mudambanuki was served with the withdrawal in the form of a stamp from my legal practitioners."

Mudimu added that: "The case was said to have been set on the 8th of April yet the withdrawal was done on 2009.

"The High Court stamp on the notice of withdrawal is 26th February 2010 while the Deputy Sheriff stamp was September 2000, which was then altered by a pen to read 10 September 2010.

"The judge was only presented with the forged notice of withdrawal and gave an order to my detriment."

Mudimu said he reported the case to the Commercial Crimes Unit and the investigating Sergeant one Dambamuromo went to the High Court to peruse the files but was advised that they were missing.

The court officials, he said, could not do anything about it.

Justice Hungwe could not be reached for comment.

Mudimu's case comes barely a week after revelations that Justice Hungwe failed to sentence 55-year old Jonathan Mutsinze, whom he convicted of robbery and murder with actual intent 10 years ago.

The same Judge also held court hearing in the middle of the night at his Darwendale farm when he ordered the release of Harare lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa last week after hearing from only one party to the case.

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Source - TH

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