Chief Court Reporter
THE inquiry into suspended High Court judge Erica Ndewere’s suitability to remain on the bench resumes tomorrow following a week-long break to allow the court to consider the defence team’s objection to have a member of the Executive to lead the secretariat.
While the Justice Simbi Mubako-led tribunal deferred the matter for ruling on the question of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Secretary Mrs Virginia Mabhiza’s appointment to the Tribunal secretariat, the defence team approached the High Court seeking her removal and nullification of the entire process to bring the judge before an inquiry.
The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) opposed the motion before Masvingo-based High Court judge, Justice Sunsley Zisengwe, arguing that Justice Ndewere was abusing the court process because her second urgent application was no different from her first application that she voluntarily withdrew thereby forfeiting her right to argue urgency in the future.
The embattled judge is contesting the legality of the tribunal appointed to probe her suitability to continue in office after she openly accused the head of the Judiciary of employing double standards.
In opposing, Justice Ndewere’s fresh urgent application to quash the tribunal and appointment of Mrs Virginia Mabhiza, to the secretariat, the lawyer for the respondents Mr Addington Chinake, moved the court to dismiss the application for lack of urgency.
President Mnangagwa, Chief Justice Luke Malaba, Judicial Service Commission and Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister are also listed as respondents in the matter, which seeks to stop the disciplinary hearing of the judge.