BY MIRIAM MANGWAYA
A HIGH Court sheriff on Monday broke into suspended judge Justice Erica Ndewere’s residence and attached two motor vehicles to recover legal fees won by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) against her.
Justice Ndewere’s lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa said two men from the Office of the Sheriff of the High Court broke the gate and tried to break the kitchen door after she had directed them to deliver the court documents to her lawyers.
The Sheriff attached her husband’s truck and brother’s motor vehicle to recover the cost of suit after she had withdrawn a matter against the JSC.
The JSC is claiming $175 000 for legal fees awarded against the suspended judge.
“The officials from the sheriff of the High Court forcibly gained entry into Justice Ndewere’s premises and tried to physically break down her door, but they failed,” Mtetwa said. “They then attached her husband’s truck and her brother’s car. JSC and its lawyers should have at least advised us of the intended visit so that all this drama could have been avoided.”
Earlier in 2020, JSC staff attempted to forcibly enter Justice Ndewere’s residence to seize vehicles following her suspension.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said he had not received the report.
“I am not aware of such a report,” Nyathi said. “The sheriff works under the High Court and I would not be privy of legal matters under its jurisdiction.”
The judge was suspended by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on November 5, 2020 for alleged incompetence.
She was accused of failing to complete 28 reviews and eight reserved judgments as well as failing to properly read a file of a convict.
Justice Ndewere has denied the allegations, claiming that Chief Justice Luke Malaba was victimising her after she ignored his “unlawful” directive to deny bail to former Labour minister Priscah Mupfumira on charges of abusing National Social Security Authority funds and MDC Alliance deputy chairperson Job Sikhala on inciting public violence charges. She also accused Chief Justice Malaba of lying to Mnangagwa that she had 34 outstanding matters when she only had three.
She also submitted that the JSC failed to carry out an independent investigation into her alleged misconduct, but rather “rubber-stamped” the unlawful investigation done by Chief Justice Malaba without verifying the allegations.
Her case is being investigated by a tribunal headed by retired judge Justice Simbi Mubako.