Former High Court judge Erica Ndewere has filed a fresh court application seeking to be reinstated as a judge after she was fired by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on June 17, 2021.
The president, acting on recommendations by a three-member tribunal, dismissed Ndewere over misconduct.
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Ndewere is accusing Justice Simbi Mubako-led tribunal of being extremely biased and grossly incompetent when it found her guilty of misconduct.
The former judge claims that her dismissal was part of victimisation after she defied Chief Justice Luke Malaba’s “unlawful orders”.
In the application, Ndewere cited Mnangagwa and the three tribunal members, Justice Mubako, lawyer Charles Warara and Yvonne Masvora, who made recommendations for her removal from the bench, as respondents.
Ndewere, who is being represented by lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa, argued that the tribunal members failed to provide her with all the documents used to convict her, thus violating her right to a fair trial.
She also stated that all the tribunal members had no power to sit for her inquiry after May 18, 2021, when its term of office had expired, hence their recommendation to Mnangagwa after the date was null and void. Ndewere said:
Having claimed to have given the applicant all fair hearing rights in the report, that the second, third and fourth respondents’ conduct of denying the applicant the right to be heard on an appropriate penalty before sending a dismissal recommendation to the first respondent amounts to a gross irregularity that vitiates their recommendations and the first respondent’s subsequent decision.
Ndewere argues that the conduct of the tribunal was irregular because it sought evidence outside the hearing which was supposed to be in the public domain and it made recommendations to the President before she was given an opportunity to defend herself.
The review of the tribunal’s recommendations by the High Court is yet to be set down.