Bere’s application dismissed by High Court
HIGH Court Judge Justice Benjamin Chikowero has dismissed the suspended Supreme Court Judge Justice Francis Bere application for review of the Judicial Service Commission(JSC) decision to advise the President to remove him from office and be investigated.
In his ruling, Chikowero said that it was not proper for the court to try and substitute the prima facie views of the JSC already acted upon on 13December 2019.
“I am not sitting as an appeal court to determine the correctness of the JCS’s decision to but on review to decide whether any of the jurisdictional grounds for removal of a judge from office is disclosed on the papers put before me and on which the decision to advice the President was made,” he ruled.
Justice Chikowero said Section 187(1)(c) of the Constitution provides that gross misconduct is one such jurisdictional ground but insisted that that whether there was gross misconduct it was not for him to determine the Tribunal’s responsibility.
“I do not think that it is necessary for the applicant to effectively be a judge in his own cause by submitting before this court that the basis upon which the JSC advised the president was petty. That goes to the substance of that which the tribunal is to investigate, make findings and recommend on.
“Given the importance of this matter I may have hesitated to award costs against the applicant had he not instituted this application instead prosecuted the urgent chamber application which was removed from the roll, as a court application. Applicant has caused the first respondent to incur unnecessary costs by duplicating proceedings,” he said.
In June, High Court dismissed Bere’s urgent chamber application which they regarded as an attempt to delay the hearing which is being led by a three-member tribunal led by retired Justice Simbi Mubako.
This was also after Bere had two other applications dismissed again at the High Court for lack of merit.