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Zimbabwe’s Judge Fired, Another Under Investigation For Gross Misconduct

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – President Mnangagwa has fired with immediate effect High Court judge Justice Erica Ndewere for gross incompetence after a Tribunal Mr Mnangagwa set last year recommended that she be removed from office.

The sacking of Justice Ndewere coincides with setting of another Tribunal to investigate Justice Thompson James Mabhikwa who is being charged for alleged misconduct, sexual harassment and possessing pornographic material.

President set Justice Mabhikwa’s Tribunal comprising former judge Justice Maphios Cheda (chair) Chaka Mashoko, Phillipa Magnify Phillips and Virginia Mabiza who is Secretary for the Ministry of Justice.

The Tribunal is to investigate Justice Mabhikwa’s suitability to remain at the Bulawayo High Court.

Justice Mabhikwa is accused of having a love affair with his assistant Oratile Nare.

The affair resulted in nudes of the judge being leaked and circulated on social media in February.

Sexual affairs at workplace are criminal offence according to the Judiciary Service Commission (JSC) code of conduct.

Regarding Justice Ndewere, Chief Secretary to President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda said in a statement that the member of the bench was found guilty on two counts of misconduct by the Tribunal which recommended her removal as a judge.

“The Tribunal which was established that in terms of Section 187 (3) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe to inquire into the question of removal from office of Justice Erica Ndewere has completed its investigations.

“The Tribunal has recommended that Justice Ndewere be removed from office for gross incompetence and President Mnangagwa has accordingly in terms of Section 187 (8) of the Constitution removed Justice Erica Ndewere from office with immediate effect,” said Dr Sibanda.

The Tribunal was led by a former judge Justice Simbi Mubako. She becomes the 2nd judge to be fired within a year following the sacking of Justice Francis Bere in October last year.

Critics of government have however claimed Justice Ndewere is a victim of her stance against manipulation by the political system, led by under fire Chief Justice Luke Malaba.

On 5 Nov 2020, Justice Ndewere wrote to President Mnangagwa asking him to probe the conduct of Chief Justice Malaba because he was interfering with High Court judges’ judgements.

There is a feeling that she is also being punished for granting bail to opposition MP Job Sikhala in defiance of instructions from the regime.


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