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Sikhala bail judge appeals vehicle seizure ruling at Supreme Court

Former High Court judge Justice Erica Ndewere has approached the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe seeking an order to stop the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) from seizing a Mercedes Benz E300 she was issued by the government two years ago.

This comes after High Court judge Justice Samuel Deme ordered Ndewere to surrender the vehicle to the sheriff for safekeeping until her pending challenge was finalised.

The JSC had filed an urgent chamber application to re-possess the ex-judge’s vehicle that was issued by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in June 2020.

The former judge was recently fired by Mnangagwa for alleged “gross incompetence” after a tribunal found her guilty in terms of section 187(8) of the Constitution.

“Pending the finalisation of this matter, JSC is granted the following relief; that motor vehicle, Mercedes Benz E300, registration number ADY 4743, be, and is hereby placed under judicial attachment,” Justice Deme said.

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“Ndewere be, and is hereby ordered to surrender the above-mentioned vehicle to the sheriff at the High Court, Samora Machel Avenue, Harare, within 24 hours of service of this order where the motor vehicle shall be kept/stored by the sheriff pending the return day.

Ndewere’s appeal to the Supreme Court, however, sets aside the judgment of the High Court until the matter is heard.

In her court papers, she argued that she was entitled to buy the vehicle after she had been using it for five years.

She also alleged that she was victimised and denied the right to buy the vehicle when her colleagues who were issued vehicles on the same day were allowed to buy theirs.

She also advised the court that the JSC had not formally terminated her services and had not paid her accrued leave and pension benefits.

Many believe Ndewere was sacked by Mnangagwa as punishment for granting bail to opposition Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) Vice Chairman Job Sikhala in 2020 in the case he was facing charges of inciting public violence.