The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has recommended a tribunal to investigate High Court judge Justice Erica Ndewere’s fitness to hold office.
The JSC accuses Justice Ndewere of failure to clear her workload in reasonable time and failure to properly study the file on a thief’s conviction and sentence when she set aside a jail term.
In the case of setting aside the jail term of a thief, Justice Ndewere recommended community service for Kenneth Majecha (21), who had been locked up by a Marondera magistrate.
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Justice Ndewere referred to Majecha as a youth and a first offender yet he had three previous convictions and the court record showed this and included copies of the required certificates.
The JSC argued that Justice Ndewere decided on the case without fully reading the record of proceedings, the trial magistrate’s reasons for sentence and the attached certificates of previous convictions.
In the case of the judge’s failure to clear her workload in a reasonable time, the JSC contends that by June 30 last year, Justice Ndewere had 12 reserved judgments which had gone for at least two years without a determination.
By May 18 this year, the judge had 28 pending cases with judgments having been reserved for periods stretching from nine to 24 months.
Failure to deliver a reserved judgment within a period of 90 days is a breach of the JSC (Code of Ethics) Regulations of 2012.
Justice Ndewere is, however, fighting to stop President Emmerson Mnangagwa from constituting the tribunal the JSC desires, saying that she is being victimised.