THE country’s judicial system came under the spotlight after prominent lawyer Jeremiah Bamu accused Justice Isaac Muzenda of misrepresenting that he was involved in proceedings to bar recalled Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) candidates from participating in the by-elections held on Saturday.
Muzenda presided over a Supreme Court appeal filed by the recalled Nelson Chamisa-led CCC members after the High Court ruled in favour of self-imposed party interim secretary-general Sengezo Tshabangu.
In a statement on Saturday last week, Bamu dismissed the hearing calling it “choreographed script” with a predetermined political outcome highlighting possible collusion between the State, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and the judicial system.
He also claimed that he was ambushed to attend the hearing after being assured it was simply a case management meeting.
“I was completely unfamiliar with the proceedings. I had no mandate from the candidates, and I was unaware if they were even informed about the late-night hearing,” he said.
Bamu said he had not participated in any prior proceedings, read any relevant documentation or received any instructions from his clients.
“I requested time to obtain a mandate and instructions from the candidates. I requested time to read through the relevant documents and familiarise myself with the case. I also pointed out that where good cause exists, the constituency elections officer has the authority to delay the opening of the polls,” he said.
However, despite Bamu’s objections, Justice Muzenda proceeded with the hearing, acknowledging his concerns, but ultimately granting the order sought by the opposing side.
Meanwhile, Bamu’s law firm, Mbidzo, Muchadehama and Makoni, has written to the High Court requesting the correction of the court order that erroneously reflects his appearance for the respondents.
“This is a serious error. Mr Bamu had no mandate or instructions from any of the respondents and he was not representing them. This request is being made due to the fact that if it remains uncorrected, it exposes Mr Bamu to potential disciplinary action from the Law Society. He could be penalised for purporting to represent clients who had not instructed him to do so,” the law firm wrote.