The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has said it is investigating magistrate Milton Serima after it emerged that he is contesting in the ruling ZANU PF’s District Coordinating Committee elections in Mt Darwin.
Serima’s participation in the elections was a violation of Section 165 (4) of the country’s constitution which prohibits public office holders to take part in political activities, holding office in or be members of any political organisation; soliciting funds for or contribute towards any political organisation; and attend political meetings.
JSC spokesperson, Rumbidzai Takawira, has since threatened action against Serima. Takawira said:
We are investigating the issue that has been brought to the public fora and if it is indeed true that the magistrate is participating in political activities, then he has breached the fundamental principles of his practice and this must be dealt with accordingly.
Serima who is standing for election as the legal affairs secretary for Mt Darwin district is the second court official to participate in Zanu PF elections after Gweru prosecutor Namatirai Chipere, who subsequently resigned.
Meanwhile, Zanu PF’s director of information Tafadzwa Mugwadi said the party does not tolerate members of the public service participating in party electoral processes before they resign adding that “this sitting magistrate must be censured.”
Mugwadi said ZANU PF will summon Serima to explain his actions observing that he should have resigned before participating in the election.
Opposition MDC Alliance issued a statement saying Serima and Chipere’s cases were an illustration that there was noo judicial independence in the country.
The party has often argued that a number of government departments including the courts and the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) were captured by the ruling party.