Wilson Chipangura, Guest Reporter
HARARE – President Emmerson Mnangagwa has dismissed Supreme Court Justice Erica Ndewere for ‘gross incompetence’ according to a government communique.
“The Tribunal established in terms of section 187(3)of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, to inquire into the question of removal from office of Honourable Justice Erica Ndewere has completed its investigations.
“The Tribunal has presented its findings to His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe in terms of section 187 (7) of the Constitution.
“The tribunal has recommended that Honourable Justice Ndewere be removed from office for gross incompetence.
“His Excellency, the President has accordingly, in terms of section 187 (8) of the Constitution, removed Honourable Justice Erica Ndewere from office with immediate effect,” said Chief Secretary to the president and cabinet, Misheck Sibanda.
Justice Erica Ndewere was suspended in November last year after falling out with retired Chief Justice Luke Malaba (now illegal occupant of the office) for her nonpartisan judgements.
A three-member tribunal to investigate Ndewere for alleged misconduct was appointed by President Mnangagwa following recommendations by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).
Justice Ndewere is accused by JSC of failing to clear her workload in reasonable time and failure to properly study the file on conviction of a thief and sentence when she set aside a jail term.
The accused vehemently denied the charges during her trial insisting victimisation by the JSC for refusing to carry out illegal orders.
Evidence shows that she had 3 outstanding matters while the top justices board says they are 34 cases.
In September 2020, Ndewere granted top government critic, MDC Alliance vice-chairperson Job Sikhala $50 000 bail in High Court.
Sikhala was facing charges of inciting public violence. He was arrested in August and spend a month in remand prison after he was denied bail at the magistrates’ court.
The ruling resulted in the fallout with Malaba who had instructed Ndewere to follow state directives (believed to be from Mnangagwa) and deny Sikhala bail.