Justice Erica Ndewere of the Harare High Court who recently granted bail to MDC vice-chairman Job Sikhala has been suspended by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) headed by Chief Justice Luke Malaba.
According to Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs secretary Virginia Mabhiza, Ndewere is accused of “misconduct and conduct inconsistent with being a judicial officer.”
Mabhiza added that the JSC has since referred the matter to President Emmerson Mnangagwa to appoint a tribunal to “inquire into the question of removal from office of Justice Erica Ndewere.”
Coincidentally, Alex Mgaisa, a law lecturer in the UK wrote on September 23, a day after Sikhala was granted bail that Justice Ndewere was likely to get into trouble for freeing the Zengeza West legislator. He tweeted:
Don’t underestimate the courage of the judge who gave Job Sikhala bail. I wouldn’t be surprised if she suffers for it. When you do things against the system’s wishes, the system finds something to hit you with. Sooner or later you will hear they are investigating Justice Ndewere for this and that.
ZimLive reports that it was told before Justice Ndewere delivered her judgement that the judge had avoided the usual procedures and “made sure the spies in the judicial structures didn’t have the judgement beforehand.”
The publication also reports that CJ Malaba was described as being “very unhappy” at the Ndewere over the ruling which could be the reason behind her suspension.
This comes amid reports that some prison officers at Chikurubi where Sikhala was housed are also in trouble for treating him with baby gloves.
Sikhala was arrested and charged with inciting public violence after urging the citizenry to participate in the foiled 31 July anti-corruption protests. He is out on bail.