Former High Court judge Erica Ndewere has filed a fresh court application seeking to be reinstated as a judge, accusing the Justice Simbi Mubako-led tribunal of being extremely biased and grossly incompetent when it found her guilty of misconduct.She filed an application for review of the recommendations by the three-member tribunal to have her fired from the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).
She was fired by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on June 17, 2021, but she claims that her dismissal was part of victimisation after she defied Chief Justice Luke Malaba’s “unlawful orders”.
In the application, Ndewere cited Mnangagwa and the three tribunal members, Justice Mubako, lawyer Charles Warara and Yvonne Masvora, who made recommendations for her removal from the bench, as respondents.Ndewere, who is being represented by lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa, argued that the tribunal members failed to provide her with all the documents used to nail her, thus violating her right to a fair trial.
She also stated that all the tribunal members did not have jurisdiction to sit for her inquiry after May 18, 2021 when its term of office had expired, hence their recommendation to Mnangagwa after the date were null and void.
Ndewere said the respondents failed to apply their minds on issues before them.“Having claimed to have given the applicant all fair hearing rights in the report, that the second, third and fourth respondents’ conduct of denying the applicant the right to be heard on an appropriate penalty before sending a dismissal recommendation to the first respondent amounts to a gross irregularity that vitiates their recommendations and the first respondent’s subsequent decision.”
Ndewere argues that the conduct of the tribunal was irregular because it sought evidence outside the hearing which was supposed to be in public domain and it made recommendations to the President before she was given an opportunity to defend herself.
“Apart from the report being full of emotive and injudicious language, whenever reference was being made to me and my legal practitioners’ actions, the report shows an extremely biased analysis of the witnesses’ evidence where glaring deficiencies were glossed over or not mentioned at all,” she submitted.
The review of the tribunal’s recommendations by the High Court is yet to be set down.