Dismissal of Masvingo Magistrate Mr Madhibha unfair .

It is true that Magistrates and judges have to be competent. They have to measure to the standard expected of them by discharging their duties efficiently, effectively and judiciously.

They also have to discharge their duties with utmost good faith, without malice and also they are expected to be impartial when adjudicating on any case. lt does not matter as to who is involved in that case.

The law knows no status or rank. If the judiciary personnel aforementioned fail to live up to these expectations or to abide by the regulations of the JSC, they can be discharged from performing the services that they are employed to render to the government and the public.

What l find ambiguous and questionable about the dismissal of Mr M is that he has been working for many years and then all of a sudden he gets dismissed. This is my view is questionable.l think someone is playing politics here. This is just like in the dismissal of the Public prosecutor (PG)which is also attributed to politics. Thus why we need an autonomous judiciary entity in Zimbabwe. If Mr M had been dismissed for taking bribes, then it would be a fair dismissal. But with the reasons stated in this paper, it is surely unfair to dismiss a man that has worked for so many years summarily like that. Something must be wrong somewhere.

Does it mean that for all these years he has been not performing his duties as expected of him?. Then if that is the case, the Minister or previous Ministers who have been in charge of the justice department are the ones to blame. Thus because they have not been doing their jobs properly. Moreso, his immediate supervisor(s) are equally to blame. Surely someone who has been his boss must also be dismissed if that is the case. This goes on to show that there is mismanagement of the judiciary department in Zimbabwe.

This also means that all the cases which he dealt with for all the years in which he was a magistrate have to be reviewed as they were not handled properly. Justice means fairness. So, there was no fairness in the cases that he handled. So, if people who were convicted by him come forward and submit their complaints, what will the department of justice do?

Would they review their cases? Another issue which is questionable about the reason for his dismissal is that magistrates and judges follow guidelines and the law when adjudicating on cases. The guidelines set the threshold of cases. So, one wonders why now Mr M is dismissed for being incompetent in handling cases. And the cases cited (of the bus driver), cannot justify his dismissal.lt is possible that when he dealt with that case he followed the guidelines. Even if the public complains, that cannot be a reason to dismiss him as he is vested with the authority to judge cases according to what the law stipulates. A person who is alleged to have committed a crime of murder can have their case discharged by the court if the magistrate or judge deems it fit.

So, it does not matter that in the case in question there was a loss of life involved. If the circumstances and facts point to that someone is not guilty of the alleged crime, then the court has the right to discharge them of the alleged crime. So, in my view, Mr M was unfairly dismissed. The only reason there could be politics. My views without bias or prejudice.

By Njabulo.libertyatliberty at gmail dot com

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