By Alois Vinga
BUSINESSMAN Tendai Mashamhanda has demanded Chief Justice Luke Malaba’s resignation due to alleged corruption in a US$1,5 million property wrangle which implicates top lawyers Tendai Biti and Advocate Thabani Mpofu.
A letter dated February 9 2024 addressed to the JSC Chairperson, Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission, Minister of Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, the Chairperson of Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission, Zimbabwe Gender Commission and the Chairperson Parliamentary Legal Committee accused the judiciary and top lawyers of fomenting a highly corrupt syndicate which “sweeps matters under the carpet” denying citizens justice.
Mashamhanda says he bought a property at number 41 Ridgeway North Highlands in good faith and for value which he has since lost through legal processes he describes as ‘unjust’.
The local businessman contends that the record of proceedings in the High Court shows that none of the parties who were later favoured by the Judiciary over him were able to rebut that assertion. He alleges the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe manufactured numerous lies to justify the cancellation of his title deeds.
“Some of the lies are; 1. That there was a caveat registered against the property yet there was no caveat. Secondly, that the property was auctioned, and Bariadie Investments was the highest bidder despite the property never being auctioned,” he said.
Thirdly, he said claims that Justice Chitapi held an unscheduled hearing during which a default judgment was granted in favour of Puwayi Chiutsi were false since the hearing was scheduled and agreed to by all parties as demonstrated by the record of proceedings.
Mashamhanda added that claims to the effect that Bariadie applied for leave to appeal against Justice Chitapi’s refusal to recuse himself is a lie since no appeal was filed.
The petition comes after the JSC reportedly ignored his complaints in a letter dated February 6 signed by Ms E. Mawondo.
“We note from a reading of your letter of complaint that you raised issues with various judges, flowing from matters involving yourself which they handled. Also linked to these matters, you also raise various allegations of corruption against the Secretary of the Judicial Service Commission.
“In light of the defamatory statements, and the abuse of the complainant’s procedure in the letter to the Office of the Chief Justice dated January 12 2024, and the various letters addressed to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, the Office of the Chief Justice is unable to assist you,” said the JSC.
However, Mashamhanda who believes that his fate is synonymous with that of millions of other Zimbabweans who find it difficult to access justice has vowed to fight on. He implicates Advocate Mapuranga, Advocate Thabani Mpofu and Tendai Biti represented by Diana Kawenda alleging they signed false affidavits confirming that a hearing was held on 20 July 2021 during which the default judgment was granted.
He effectively calls for the resignation of the majority of the country’s judges arguing that they are highly corrupt.
He believes the Judicial Service Commission led by Chief Justice Luke Malaba has failed the nation by contravening good governance principles of Transparency, Justice, Accountability, and Responsiveness.
“In order to protect the integrity of the judicial system in Zimbabwe and the interests of the people of Zimbabwe YOU MUST RESIGN AS A MATTER OF URGENCY. The three Honourable judges of the Supreme Court that is Honourable Deputy Chief Justice Gwaunza, Honourable Justice Guvava and Honourable Justice Bhunu must resign.
“They brought shame and disgrace to the Judiciary through manufacturing lies which they incorporated in their judgment. They also abused their offices by compelling young researchers to lie for the benefit of a fraudulent judgment in favour of a cartel member.
“The two Honourable Justices of the High Court, Katiyo and Chirau-Mugomba and three honourable Justices of the Constitutional Court, Justice Garwe, Justice Hlatshwayo and Justice Patel must be subjected to tribunal Hearings. Apart from what I said in my complaint letters their conduct advanced the agenda of the cartel to deny me justice,” he added.