By Charles Laiton
Suspened Supreme Court judge Justice Francis Bere wants the High Court to expedite the hearing of his previous court application, which sought an interdict to restrain President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s tribunal from commencing an inquiry into his alleged misconduct in the performance of duty.
Justice Bere’s urgent chamber application came about after the tribunal, on May 14, 2020 served him with a charge sheet of the alleged offence and advised him to proffer his defence in 10 days’ time.
“This is an urgent chamber application in terms of which the applicant (Justice Bere) seeks an order for the expedited hearing of the ordinary court application filed under HC 2302/20 and an order directing that pending the determination of the said court application, the proceedings of the tribunal consisting of the second to the fourth respondents (retired judge Justice Simbi Veke Mubako, Rekayi Maphosa, Takawira Nzombe and Virginia Mabhiza),” Justice Bere said.
“It is obvious that the charge sheet was served on me immediately after I had filed my court application because the tribunal does not want this honourable court to have an opportunity to determine the validity of the establishment of the tribunal in the first place.
“The procedure of the tribunal is not fixed like that of the High Court Rules, and, as such, the tribunal will, and in all likelihood, conduct inquiry and complete its investigations in the question of my removal from the office of the judge before conclusion of my pending High Court application.”
Early this year, Mnangagwa appointed, on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission, a three-member tribunal to decide on Justice Bere’s suitability to continue holding office, following the commission’s sudden U-turn after initially clearing him of the offence in November last year. News Day