Embattled judge withdraws application against JSC

October 27, 2020

Brenna Matendere

Suspended High Court judge, Erica Ndewere on Monday withdrew a court application seeking to bar the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) from setting up a tribunal to investigate her alleged misconduct.

Ndewere filed her urgent chamber application at the High Court on Monday morning, and within hours, she had withdrawn it.

The JSC is accusing Justice Ndewere of reversing a prison sentence imposed on a thief, in addition to taking too long to deliver judgements.

But she accused Chief Justice Luke Malaba of persecuting her over an alleged personal vendetta after she ignored an order by him on how to handle a bail application.

Part of the notice to withdraw the application reads: “The applicant hereby files a notice of withdrawal of the urge chamber application and tenders costs”.

Ndewere had cited President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Malaba, Judge President George Chiweshe, the JSC and Justice minister, Ziyambi, as respondents in her earlier urgent chamber application.

The judge said the Judicial Service (Code of Ethics) Regulations 2012 mandated the JSC to set up a disciplinary committee to deal with the issues raised against her.

She added that the allegations against her were not sufficiently serious to warrant the establishment of a tribunal by Mnangagwa.

“It is unclear to me why the second respondent (Malaba) 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,” the judge protested.

“I am also concerned that I am being unfairly treated by CJ 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,” added Ndewere.

The public recently speculated that Ndewere was suspended after granting bail to the MDC Alliance deputy chairman, Job Sikhala, who had spent several weeks in prison for allegedly plotting to overthrow the current government.

However, it has since been established that, the Ndewere case started building up well before that.

In August 2019, Ndewere granted bail to Prisca Mupfumira, a former cabinet minister who had been arrested for alleged fraud.

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