By Mashudu Netsianda
Fired Esigodini resident magistrate, Mr Tawanda Muchemwa, has approached the Labour Court challenging his dismissal by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) following a disciplinary hearing.
Mr Muchemwa was fired in July by the JSC for misconduct after he allegedly failed to respond to his superiors’ correspondence.
He was also accused of incompetence emanating from his failure to check registers and record movement, absence from duty without official leave, insubordination and failure to comply with the Chief Magistrate’s instructions.
Mr Muchemwa, through his lawyer Mr Mclean Mahaso of Tanaka Law Chambers, yesterday filed a notice of appeal at the Bulawayo Labour Court challenging his dismissal.
In papers before the court, JSC was cited as a respondent.
In his notice of appeal, Mr Muchemwa argued that the disciplinary hearing, which was chaired by Hwange regional magistrate, Ms Dambudzo Malunga, erred by finding that he was unlawfully absent from duty on March 28, 2019, saying there was no sufficient and reliable evidence for such a finding.
He said the disciplinary authority erred by holding that he had been rude, disrespectful, discourteous, threatening, improper and insubordinate, arguing that there was no evidence to sustain such a finding.
“The disciplinary authority grossly misdirected itself by holding that the appellant had failed to obey a lawful instruction from the Chief Magistrate when there was no evidence to sustain and convincingly motivate such a position. The disciplinary authority grossly misdirected itself by holding that the appellant had neglected to carry out his duties when there was no evidence to sustain such a finding,” argued Mr Muchemwa.
He wants an order that nullifies his dismissal, saying it failed to meet the justice of the case.
“Wherefore, the appellant prays that the instant appeal be allowed with costs and the judgment of the disciplinary authority a quo be set aside entirely and substituted with a written warning,” said Mr Muchemwa.
Mr Muchemwa was recently on suspension, which was later lifted soon after he was acquitted of assaulting and kidnapping his maid.
The magistrate was said to have last year assaulted his maid, Ms Shaymore Musendekwa (20), at the instigation of his wife.
Harare regional magistrate, Mrs Lucie-Anne Mungwari, sitting at the Tredgold Magistrates’ court in Bulawayo, acquitted him following his application for discharge at the close of the State case.
Mrs Mungwari dismissed the case on the grounds that State witnesses gave inconsistent statements about what transpired.
A bid to transfer him to Rusape was also cancelled after he challenged the decision, arguing that it was being implemented without any disciplinary proceedings being held against him.
He said the transfer did not take into account his personal circumstances given that he had just enrolled at the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) to study a Masters of Business Administration degree. The Chronicle