Wednesday 21 April 2021


EMBATTLED High Court judge, Justice Erica Ndewere says Chief Justice Luke Malaba threatened to drag her to a hearing if she failed to follow his instruction and deny bail to former Labour and Social Welfare minister Priscah Mupfumira.

Justice Ndewere’s tribunal hearing, which began sitting on March 18, resumed after High Court judge Justice Sunsley Zisengwe dismissed an urgent chamber application she had filed to stop the proceedings.

Responding to questions from her lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa, Justice Ndewere said the Justice Simbi Mubako-led tribunal should consider the victimisation she suffered when the time comes to pass its verdict.

Justice Ndewere denied to being incompetent arguing that all her work was cleared more than 15 months ago and the backlog on her cases only accrued after she was admitted into hospital for a cancer-related operation for which she presented medical documents.

She was suspended in November 2020 for allegedly failing to complete 28 reviews and eight reserved judgments by May 18, 2020.

She was also accused of not reading court documents properly by issuing a note requesting a magistrate to substitute the sentence of convict Kenneth Manyowa, and a new charge of failing to give reasons for giving bail to convict Tapson Nyowani was added to the charge sheet on December 8, 2020.

However, Justice Ndewere has disputed statistics that were used as the basis for her suspension arguing that she was never accorded a chance to verify them since they were wrong.

Justice Ndewere accused the Judicial Service Commission staff of fraudulently doctoring figures on her outstanding cases in an effort to justify the gross incompetence charge.

Justice Ndewere said: “4 names on this list of eight were removed, and 4 new and different names added.”

As a result, the list that was sent to Justice Ndewere’s defence team was different from the list that the tribunal was given. She said the JSC was highly compromised since it used the disputed figures fully aware that they were wrong.  Tribunal hearing continues tomorrow. Newsday



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