By Mary Taruvinga
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has set up a tribunal to investigate the conduct of High Court judge Justice Webster Chinamora.
Chinamora is under fire after he allegedly handed down a judgement in a matter he never heard.
A letter of complaint was written to the judge President Mary Zimba Dube recently with one of the litigants in the matter complaining about his conduct.
A letter was also written to the Law Society of Zimbabwe with the company involved alleging that he had connived with a lawyer to its prejudice.
“…and whereas the Judicial Service Commission, by letter dated 9th March, 2023, advised the President that the question of removal from office of the Honourable Mr. Justice Nicholas Webster Charakupa Chinamora, ought to be investigated; … now therefore under and by virtue of the powers vested in the President as afore said, I do, by this proclamation, establish a Tribunal to inquire into the question of removal from office of the Honourable Justice Nicholas Webster Charakupa Chinamora,” reads a notice published on Thursday.
Mnangagwa appointed Retired Justice Moses Chinhengo as Chairperson of the Tribunal.
He also appointed the Secretary for Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs to be the Secretary to the Tribunal and directed that the Tribunal shall be held within five months from the date of swearing in of members.
The tribunal is expected to investigate Chinamora’s conduct as alleged in the dossier from the Judicial Service Commission, whether it can be deemed to have been tantamount to gross misconduct.
It is also expected to investigate whether Chinamora interfered with the course of justice during the course of his duties and to investigate whether Chinamora presided over matters wherein he had a direct conflict of interest among other things.
Members appointed to the tribunal include Dr. Gift Manyatera and Clara Phiri.
In a letter gleaned by NewZimbabwe.com, the aggrieved party, is a company called Balwearie Holdings (Pvt) Limited which wrote to the Judge President through its managing director Believe Guta.
The judge president was told that Chinamora admitted that he had delivered judgment on a case which was not heard or argued.
He claimed that this was an error on his part.
Chinamora allegedly suggested that he could just destroy the printed judgement and delete it from the system as a way of correcting his error which was denied by the company.
The company wanted him to make another ruling setting aside his alleged erroneous judgement but this was not done.
Instead, the judgement was just deleted from archives.