Tribunal to Probe Justice Makonese Sworn In
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has sworn in three members to be part of a tribunal that will look into the fitness of Bulawayo High Court Judge, Justice Martin Makonese,
to hold office.
The tribunal is headed by retired Judge, Justice Simbi Veke Mubako.
President Mnangagwa set up the tribunal on the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission.
Justice Makonese is now suspended pending the finalisation of the investigation, the standard procedure when a tribunal is set up.
Posting on his official twitter account, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Permanent Secretary Mr Nick Mangwana said “Today, His Excellency, President @edmnangagwa is swearing in members of the tribunal that will look into the fitness of Bulawayo High Court Judge, Justice Martin Makonese, to hold office.
“Justice Makonese has been suspended pending the finalisation of the investigation, which is the standard procedure once a tribunal is set up.”
“The complaint against Justice Makonese followed an order he issued in a coal mine dispute in which he allegedly had a financial interest. Allegations arose when he allegedly made the order without an application made before him, and without the knowledge of lawyers of the two other parties in the dispute.”
He added, “The dispute over a coal mine in Hwange pits a company called Philcool Investments, who were the applicants, and two others called Hwange Coal Gasification and Taiyuan Sanxing, who were the respondents during the hearing purportedly held on October 12 last year. Reports indicate that there is serious doubt that the hearing took place. Justice Makonese’s order gave Philcool the relief sought, including ordering the other two parties to abandon operations pending court applications.
The tribunal has five months to complete the probe from the date of taking oaths before the President.
If the tribunal finds there is conduct so improper that the judge can no longer sit on the bench.
Justice Makonese becomes the fourth judge in the Second Republic to be hauled before a tribunal to look into the question of his suitability to continue working as a judge.