Setback for Justice Bere  

THE High Court yesterday declined to hear Supreme Court judge Francis Bere’s disciplinary hearing challenge as an urgent matter because it was not in the category of those which can be heard during the lockdown.
Bere was suspended pending the determination by a tribunal set up to investigate allegations of conflict of interest levelled against him.
High Court judge Alfias Chitakunye ruled that the matter will now proceed on the ordinary roll.
Bere is represented by Lovemore Madhuku and advocates Girach Firoz and Lewis Uriri challenging the legality of the tribunal because the current proceedings against him were raised after he had been cleared in November last year.
The tribunal consists of Rekai Maphosa, Simbi Mubako and Takawira Nzombe.
“The matter has been ruled as not urgent. It will now proceed to the ordinary roll. It was not held in the category of those that can be heard during the lockdown,” Madhuku told the Daily News.
Bere is accused of reportedly telephoning Zimbabwe National Roads Administration (Zinara) lawyer Itai Ndudzo of Mutamangira and Associates, asking him to consider settling a civil dispute pitting Zinara and Fremus Enterprises, allegedly owned by the judge’s relatives.
The complaint was first raised before deputy Chief Justice Elizabeth Gwaunza during a court hearing before Ndudzo was asked to make the complaint in writing.
Bere denied the allegations, but admitted telephoning Ndudzo as a personal friend, a relationship he claimed started when they were both members of the Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) Ethics Committee. However,
Ndudzo denied having a personal relationship with Bere, saying he was surprised to receive a call from him trying to influence him to favour his relatives.
Bere is also under investigations following a ruling he made in the more than $2 million consultancy dispute between the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange-listed Meikles Limited and Widefree Investments.
Widefree, with links to businessman Joseph Kanyekanye, was a long-standing client of Bere Brothers, a legal firm founded by the judge.

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