- It was the second time that Justice Bere was facing an ethics inquiry after being cleared in January last year over a conflict of interest complaint filed by Meikles chairman, John Moxon.
By Mutsa Makuvaza
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has with immediate effect, removed Supreme Court Judge, Francis Bere, from office for acts of gross misconduct.
This follows recommendations from the Tribunal appointed to enquire into the matter.
Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda advised in a statement the latest developments.
President Mnangagwa appointed a tribunal in early March this year to look into Bere’s fitness to hold office after a lawyer accused him of interference in a civil case.
It was the second time that Justice Bere was facing an ethics inquiry after being cleared in January last year over a conflict of interest complaint filed by Meikles chairman, John Moxon.
Mnangagwa picked retired judge Simbi Mubako assisted by lawyers Advocate Takawira Nzombe and Rekayi Maphosa in March to investigate the judge.
According to the complaint, lawyer Itai Ndudzo of Mutamangira and Associates, acting for the Zimbabwe Road Administration (Zinara), said the judge called him on his phone requesting that he settles a civil dispute between the roads agency and a company called Fremus Enterprises, which is allegedly owned by the judge’s relatives.
Ndudzo made the claim during a court hearing, prompting Deputy Chief Justice Elizabeth Gwaunza to advise him to file a formal complaint.
In his complaint, Ndudzo said: “The learned judge indeed contacted me telephonically. The commercial dispute between my client (Zinara) and Fremus Enterprises Pvt Ltd was discussed in the course of the conversation.
“The learned judge’s relatives are co-directors of Fremus Enterprises (Pvt) Ltd. The learned judge inquired whether or not there would be possibility of payment being expedited to Fremus (Pvt) Ltd.
“I declined the request and the conversation ended abruptly on that note.”
Justice Bere denied Ndudzo’s account. Instead, he said it was a purely social discussion flowing from their personal relationship dating back to the time when they both sat on the Zimbabwe Football Association (ZIFA) ethics committee. – Zimbabwe Voice ■