THE High Court on Monday heard arguments by former judge Justice Erica Ndewere who is seeking to retain a Mercedes Benz vehicle which she used during her tenure.
The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) wants to repossess the vehicle, but has failed to obtain judgment in its favour.High Court judge Justice Joseph Chilimbe heard the arguments in the repossession case and considered preliminary submissions by the former judge’s lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa.
Mtetwa argued that JSC secretary Walter Chikwanha had no authority to institute proceedings against Ndewere in the High Court.
She also submitted that the JSC never met to discuss the repossession of Ndewere’s vehicle.
JSC argued that the High Court had accepted that Chikwanha could act on behalf of the JSC.
But Mtetwa insisted that the JSC did not meet to make a decision on repossession of the vehicle.
She avers that since Chief Justice Luke Malaba and Deputy Chief Justice Elizabeth Gwaunza are conflicted in the Ndewere case, they cannot authorise Chikwanha to repossess the vehicle.
Justice Chilimbe also raised a point that once the authority of an individual to represent a third party in the High Court is challenged, it is up to the applicant to prove otherwise.He cited the case of former Premier Medical Aid Society boss Cuthbert Dube as a precedent.
The judge then adjourned the proceedings in order to consider the arguments without going into the merits of the case.
At the time Justice Ndewere was removed from office, she retained the Mercedes Benz E300, which is registered under the Master of the High Court.
However, on April 19 this year, JSC demanded that she returns the vehicle, but she refused on the basis that she was entitled to buy it.
She also wanted JSC to wait until court processes are finalised.
Former High Court judge Justice Thompson Mabhikwa was allegedly allowed to keep his vehicles following his expulsion.
Mabhikwa joined the High Court in December 2017, hence his vehicles were not five years old, yet Ndewere’s vehicles had clocked five years.