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Justice Ndewere hearing resumes

by Staff reporter
06 Apr 2021 at 07:11hrs | Views
EMBATTLED High Court Judge Justice Erica Ndewere's hearing on alleged misconduct charges will resume today before the retired judge Justice Simbi Mubako-led tribunal after witnesses were invited to give evidence.

Justice Ndewere was arraigned before the tribunal so that she can be examined to find out if she was still suitable to hold the office of a judge of the High Court.

She was suspended on October 9, 2020 on the basis that she had 28 outstanding reviews and eight reserved judgments as of May 18, 2020.

However, Justice Ndewere denied the charge at her last appearance, saying she was being victimised for standing her ground against Chief Justice Luke Malaba's alleged "unlawful orders". She added that several judges had outstanding judgments, but were not subjected to the same treatment.

She claims she was targeted for refusing to follow Chief Justice Malaba's instructions to deny bail to MDC Alliance deputy chairperson Job Sikhala and former Public Service minister Priscah Mupfumira.

Justice Ndewere told the tribunal last week that contrary to the accusations, her work was up to date. She challenged the tribunal to produce evidence to the contrary.

A memorandum dated October 23 2020 by the Registrar of the High Court addressed to Judge President George Chiweshe confirmed that Justice Ndewere did not have any outstanding judgments in 2020.

Her lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa of Mtetwa and Nyambirai Legal Practitioners sought the recusal of Justice ministry permanent secretary Virginia Mabhiza, saying her presence on the tribunal was against the principle of separation of powers as she was a member of the Executive.

On March 19, Justice Ndewere asked High Court judge Justice Sunsley Zisengwe to set aside the tribunal that was sworn into office by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on November 5 2020.

She also asked the High Court to order that in future, judges of the High Court should be disciplined according to Statutory Instrument 107/2012 which requires the Chief Justice to establish a disciplinary committee of three judges to hear cases of misconduct against members of the bench.

Justice Zisengwe reserved judgment.

Source - newsday

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