Suspended High Court Judge, Justice Erica Ndewere has said she is being victimised by the Judiciary Service Commission which suspended her for alleged misconduct because she defied an unlawful order, Newsday reports.
The matter came to light during her trial at the tribunal when she defended herself and said contrary to her charges that she has 28 outstanding cases and urged her accuser to provide the outstanding cases:
I completed all my work within the three-month period as required and did not have 28 outstanding reviews and six reserved judgments on May 18, 2020 as alleged. The tribunal must provide the evidence in the form of names and case numbers.
I was singled out for victimisation out of a list of 17 judges with outstanding judgments, even though I had no outstanding judgments on the date I was charged and suspended.
The constitution of Zimbabwe states that a judge can be removed from office for failing to perform the functions of their office, due to mental or physical incapacity, or gross incompetence, or gross misconduct. The JSC in suspending Justice Ndewere said she was incompetent and violated the JSC code of Ethics:
That contrary to your duties and professional calling as a judge, you incompetently performed your duties when on several occasions and despite several requests and warnings from your superiors you failed to deliver reserved judgments within the prescribed 90 days in breach of Judicial Code of Ethics Regulations Statutory Instrument 107/2012 in particular section 19(1) thereof, thereby failing to meet the expected judicial standards of a judge in the following cases as indicated on the attached table.
Last year, a letter that was written by judges to President Mnangagwa leaked and it stated that they were being victimised by Chief Justice Luke Malaba.