Deputy Chief Justice conflicted, says ex-judge

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HARARE – Former High Court judge Justice Erica Ndewere wants Deputy Chief Justice Elizabeth Gwaunza to recuse herself from a case she appealed the decision to remove her from office.

Ndewere said Gwaunza struck her appeal off the roll without giving her reasons. She was fired as a judge by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on recommendations from Simbi Mubako’s tribunal.

The Supreme Court bench comprising Gwaunza, former Judge President George Chiweshe and Justice Joseph Musakwa sat yesterday to hear her appeal against the decision of the High Court, which denied jurisdiction to review the Mubako tribunal.

Gwaunza told the court that the matter has already been struck off the roll, without reasons.

Sources at the Supreme Court state that Ndewere had asked two Supreme Court judges to recuse themselves from the case.

It is alleged that Gwaunza chaired the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) meeting which dismissed Ndewere at the time Justice Chiweshe was also a member of the JSC.

Ndewere feels that the two Supreme Court judges are conflicted.

Lawyers say it is unlawful for Gwaunza and Chiweshe to preside over a case in which they are interested parties by virtue of being members of JSC.

Ndewere also claims that she was victimised by Chief Justice Luke Malaba after she allegedly refused to implement his instructions to refuse former Public Service, Labour and Social Welfare minister Priscah Mupfumira and Zengeza West legislator Job Sikhala bail.

Ndewere is challenging her dismissal, arguing that she was singled out for victimisation out of 17 judges who had outstanding judgments.

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