Suspended judge takes ED to court, claims victimisation

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By Mary Taruvinga

SUSPENDED High Court judge Erica Ndewere has dragged President Emmerson Mnangagwa to court challenging the setting up of a tribunal to investigate her over alleged misconduct.

Ndewere also cited as respondents, Chief Justice Luke Malaba, Judge President George Chiweshe, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi in her urgent chamber application.

It is her contention that issues against her are internal issues which required a disciplinary hearing and should not have led to her suspension.

“It is unclear to me why the second respondent is working with a common purpose to have me brought before a tribunal when they have clearly failed to comply with the Constitution and the Code.

“I am also concerned that I am being unfairly treated by Malaba and the JSC.

“In my view, the second respondent is victimising me for refusing to follow his unlawful instruction which he issued in August 2019 in connection with a bail matter I handled that month.

“This is why even before I had explained in June this year Malaba told Chiweshe to tell me that he wanted to take me to the Tribunal,” she poured out in an urgent chamber application.

In her application, the judge said the Judicial Service (Code of Ethics) Regulations 2012 (the Code) mandated the complainants to set up a disciplinary committee to deal with the issues.

Ndewere is accused of quashing a prison sentence against a convicted thief Kenneth Majecha, substituting it with an order for the trial magistrate to consider community service.

In coming up with the decision, Ndewere considered that the convict was a youthful offender and had no previous conviction, but it was later established that Majecha had been convicted thrice before.

The second complaint is that in the Majecha case, Ndewere took five months before reviewing it in October when it had been brought before her in May.

JSC also says Ndewere failed to meet expected standards of a judge in that on July 7, 2017.

She complained that the allegations tarnished her image.