Fired Magistrate Challenges Dismissal

Magistrate Tawanda Muchemwa who was dismissed by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has approached the Labour Court challenging his dismissal.

Muchemwa was dismissed in July for misconduct after he had allegedly failed to respond to his superiors’ correspondence, failed to check registers and record movement. Muchemwa was also accused of absenting himself from duty without official leave, insubordination and failure to comply with the Chief Magistrate’s instructions.

In his notice of appeal at the Bulawayo Labour Court through his lawyer Mr Mclean Mahaso of Tanaka Law Chambers, Muchemwa said that the disciplinary hearing that presided over his matter did not present evidence to substantiate the allegations. He said:

The disciplinary authority grossly misdirected itself by holding that the appellant had failed to obey a lawful instruction from the Chief Magistrate when there was no evidence to sustain and convincingly motivate such a position. The disciplinary authority grossly misdirected itself by holding that the appellant had neglected to carry out his duties when there was no evidence to sustain such a finding.

Muchemwa contends that the ruling failed to meet the justice of the case hence the need to replace it with a written warning.

More: The Chronicle


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One Comment on “Fired Magistrate Challenges Dismissal

  1. The labour decisions by the JSC are a cause of great concern and one wonders whether this esteemed institution has any respect for the labour laws of this country. We have an institution which is largely employing some bullying tactics against judicial officers of the lower courts and if you are not “known” you are at the mercy of some senior magistrates who are desperate for promotions and will do anything to appease their superiors. Disciplinary hearings are hastily convened and the mandate of the disciplinary committees is not even clear;are their recommendations given serious consideration or the decision lies with the bosses at the secretariat? If you are a junior magistrate you are constantly being threatened and reminded that you are lucky to have joined the magistracy and you can easily be charged for misconduct especially if you are not related to someone powerful within the JSC or government. The magistracy is staffed by some overzealous supervisors who feel threatened or insecure for whatever reason and one can easily be charged without proper investigations being conducted. If a supervisor doesnt like you for whatever reason he or she can easily propagate contrived gossip and rumours carefully designed to tarnish your image and the sad thing is that the JSC does not have proper structures to protect junior magistrates from some bullies occupying supervisory positions such as resident magistrates or provincial magistrates. The magistracy can easily destroy one’s ambitions to have a long-term career at the bench and the JSC is to blame for this.

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