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High Court reserves Ndewere appeal judgment

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High Court reserves Ndewere appeal judgment


THE High Court yesterday heard an appeal by former judge, Justice Erica Ndewere and reserved judgment on the case.

Ndewere is challenging her dismissal from the bench after President Emmerson Mnangagwa fired her last year when the Justice Simbi Mubako-led tribunal found her guilty of misconduct. Other members of the tribunal were lawyers Charles Warara and Yvonne Masvora.

Yesterday, three judges of appeal Justices Sylvia  Chirawu-Mugomba, Bongani Ndhlovu and Never Katiyo heard her appeal.

Ndewere, represented by her lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa, asked the High Court to reinstate her to her position of judge of High Court saying the tribunal erred in the way it conducted its investigations.

“Although the tribunal accepted that I fell ill and was hospitalised, it did not place weight on this evidence and how the illness and continued assignment of work to me in May 2016 while off sick created the backlog,” she submitted.

“It was gross irregularity for the tribunal members to ignore the fact that I had worked hard and had cleared all the backlog by the beginning of 2020, while my colleagues still had cases from June 30, 2019 as confirmed by the Chief Justice’s memo of October 1, 2020 giving them up to November 30, 2020 to clear cases, which are more than 17 months from work of June 30, 2019 work. Ignoring uncontroverted evidence in favour of a party is so gross an irregularity that it vitiates the entire proceedings.”

Ndewere also argued that her line manager, Supreme Court judge Justice George Chiweshe should have been summoned to give evidence.

“My undisputed evidence was that the head of the High Court Justice George Chiweshe was the one who allocated cases and supervised my work, but he did not complain against me or allege incompetence on my part as required in terms of Statutory Instrument 107 of 2012,” she submitted.

“He ought to have been called to testify as my line manager on my performance as a judge of the High Court, but the evidence presenters did not call him. It called people who knew nothing about the work of judges and who do not supervise judges. It was gross irregularity for the tribunal members to ignore this undisputed evidence as if I said nothing,” she further argued.

Judgement was reserved. Newsday

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