By Mary Taruvinga, Senior Reporter
EXPELLED former High Court judge, Erica Ndewere, has been ordered to immediately surrender a Mercedes Benz she was given by the government during her time in office.
This follows a successful request by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), which sought an order compelling the former judge to surrender the vehicle to the High Court sheriff pending a full hearing on the matter.
High Court judge, Justice Samuel Deme, granted the relief.
“Pending the finalisation of this matter, JSC is granted the following relief; that motor vehicle, Mercedes Benz E300, registration number ADY 4743, be and is hereby placed under judicial attachment.
“Ndewere be and is hereby ordered to surrender the above mentioned vehicle to the Sheriff at the High Court, Harare, Samora Machel Avenue, Harare, within 24 hours of service of this order where the motor vehicle shall be kept/stored by the Sheriff pending the return day.”
The judge directed the sheriff to take any steps necessary in the event that Ndewere refuses to surrender the vehicle.
Deme, however, directed both parties not to use the vehicle until the matter is finalised.
Ndewere was removed from office by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on June 17, 2021 over misconduct allegations.
The JSC said it gave her two top of the range vehicles, a Land Rover Discovery 4, registration number ADM 9276 and Mercedes Benz E300 registration number ADY 4743.
Ndewere requested and was allowed to purchase the Land Rover Discovery 4 under given conditions of service on 9 April 2021.
At the time of her removal from office, she allegedly retained possession of the Mercedes Benz, which is registered in the name of the Master of the High Court, a former department of the JSC.
On April 19 2022, the JSC demanded the return of the vehicle from Ndewere but she purportedly refused.
The former judge insisted she was entitled to purchase the vehicle.
Ndewere argued that JSC was not the owner of the vehicle, but the office of the President.
She also submitted that she was entitled to purchase the vehicle.
She also submitted that the request by the JSC was not done lawfully.
On the other hand, the JSC insisted that the option to purchase the vehicle was no longer available for Ndewere because she was no longer a sitting judge.
In granting the application, the judge ruled the JSC had established a reasonably arguable case, which deserves protection pending litigation.