Some Zimbabweans have called for the resignation of five judges who benefitted from the government farm mechanisation programme of 2008.
The judges were included on the list that was recently published by Alex Magaisa, a law lecturer in the United Kingdom in his Big Saturday Read blog. Magaisa claimed the five judges benefitted as follows:
- Justice Ben Hlatshwayo- US$49,801
- Justice P. Garwe US$92,966.
- Justice Tendai Phanuel Uchena – US$89,382 .
- Justice Lavender Makoni – US$87,984.
- Deputy Chief Justice Elizabeth Gwaunza – US$62,534
The quintet, like the rest of the beneficiaries, did not pay back the loans which were later assumed by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.
MDC Alliance Treasurer, David Coltart, is among the people who believe that the judges are now compromised after accepting the equipment. He said:
If this is correct how can they honestly say that they can be objective arbitrators between political actors. If they haven’t repaid they should resign. This is a very serious impugning of judicial integrity.
The blog increased tensions between the government and the citizenry who pay the taxes which the government used to clear the debts.
Tensions were already high following reports that some government officials were engaged in underhand dealings and as a result of the socio-economic and political crises.
More: David Coltart