Ndewere demands recusal of fellow judge

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Tarisai Machakaire

STAFF WRITER

machakairet@dailynews.co.zw

SUSPENDED High Court judge Justice Erica Ndewere yesterday asked Justice Benjamin Chikowere to recuse himself from hearing her application for an interdict stopping a tribunal set up by President Emmerson Mnangagwa from probing her.

Ndewere is facing misconduct allegations following delays to conclude cases brought before her.

Mnangagwa has set up a three- member tribunal chaired by retired High Court judge Justice Simbi Mubako to enquire into her fitness to continue holding office.

Ndewere’s interdict application was first placed before Justice David Foroma, who recused himself on grounds that he sat on the same High Court bench with her. 

The case was moved to Justice Chikowore yesterday, prompting Ndewere to seek his recusal.

Ndewere’s lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa said they also sought Chikowero’s recusal on the same grounds they raised against Foroma.

“We approached the judge in his chambers and sought that he recuse himself because we find ourselves in the same position as with the previous judge, nothing has changed. We are of the view that he cannot hear this matter. We are now waiting for the outcome,” Mtetwa said.

Ndewere cited Mnangagwa, Malaba, judge president George Chiweshe, JSC and Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi in the interdict application, as she contested the setting up of the tribunal, arguing that her case should have been dealt with internally by the Judicial Service Commission.

Ndewere claimed she was being victimised by Malaba for not denying bail to politicians, former Cabinet minister Prisca Mupfumira and MDC Alliance deputy chairperson Job Sikhala.

Ndewere is accused of quashing a prison sentence against a convicted thief Kenneth Majecha and substituted 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 convictions, 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.

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