President Emmerson Mnangagwa has appointed a three-member tribunal to investigate allegations of misconduct against High Court Judge Webster Chinamora.
The allegations stem from a complaint filed by Balwearie Holdings (Pvt) Limited, which accused Chinamora of conniving with a legal practitioner to pass judgement in a case that was never heard in court.
In a presidential circular issued on Wednesday, Mnangagwa stated that he was establishing the tribunal in accordance with recommendations from the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).
“Now therefore, under and by virtue of the powers vested in the president as afore said, I do, by this proclamation establish a tribunal to inquire into the question of removal from office of the Honourable Justice Nicholas Webster Charakupa Chinamora.
“To investigate Honourable Justice Nicholas Webster Charakupa Chinamora’s conduct as alleged in the dossier from the Judicial Service Commission, whether it can be deemed to have been tantamount to gross misconduct; to investigate whether the Honourable Justice Chinamora interfered with the course of justice during the course of his duties.
“To investigate whether Honourable Justice Chinamora presided over matters wherein he had a direct conflict of interest,” read the circular.
Retired Justice Moses Chinhengo will chair the tribunal, which will also include Dr. Gift Manyatera and Clara Phiri as members.
The tribunal is expected to conclude its investigation within five months and make recommendations to the President regarding Chinamora’s suitability to continue holding the esteemed office.
The under-fire judge has denied the allegations against him and has vowed to cooperate fully with the tribunal’s investigation.
However, should the judge be found to have acted contrary to his oath of office, he could join the growing number of serving jurists who have been fired by Mnangagwa in less than five years.
Mnangagwa has fired Justices Francis Bere, Erica Ndewere, Thompson James Mabhikwa and Edith Mushore.
Justice Martin Makonese was forced to resign just as Mnangagwa appointed a tribunal to look into his misconduct claims.