Supreme court orders Justice Makarau to hear former AG Gula-Ndebele's application



Zimbabwe’s Supreme Court on Tuesday 29 November 2011 ordered President Robert Mugabe to be cited as a party to proceedings in the High Court and defend himself in an application in which former Attorney General (AG) Sobuza Gula-Ndebele is challenging his dismissal from his post, three years ago Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba, who heard an appeal filed by Gula-Ndebele’s lawyer Advocate Happious Zhou, on Tuesday ruled that Mugabe should be joined as a party to the High Court proceedings in the application in which Gula-Ndebele wants the court to set aside the recommendations of a Tribunal set up by the ZANU PF leader and chaired by High Court Judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu which led to his dismissal from his post in 2008.

The former AG took legal action against Justice Bhunu by asking the High Court to set aside the Judge’s tribunal’s recommendations citing gross unreasonableness.

But the then Judge President Justice Rita Makarau dismissed Gula-Ndebele’s application on procedural grounds, ruling that the former AG should have cited President Mugabe as a defendant. Justice Makarau did not rule on the merits of the complaint against Justice Bhunu’s tribunal.

This prompted Gula-Ndebele to request the Supreme Court to overrule Justice Makarau’s decision and send his case back to the High Court for a hearing on the merits of his original application.

Although Gula-Ndebele’s lawyers wanted the matter to be remitted to the High Court and be heard by a different Judge, Justice Malaba ruled that Justice Makarau should preside over the former AG’s application and hear the merits of the application after the joinder of Mugabe to the main application.

Justice Malaba, who heard the matter with Justice Paddington Garwe and Justice Misheck Cheda conceded that Justice Makarau was now a Judge of Appeal he said that won’t prevent her from presiding and completing the case.

Gula-Ndebele was suspended by Mugabe from his post in May 2008 for allegedly abusing his office after he allegedly met former National Merchant Bank deputy managing director, James Mushore. Mushore, who returned to Zimbabwe after fleeing to Britain in 2004 at the height of the country’s banking crisis.

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