BULAWAYO Judiciary Services officials are under probe for suspected corruption after a resident, Winston Mawere, wrote a letter to President Robert Mugabe alleging some members handled court cases in a suspicious manner.
BY SILAS NKALA
This resulted in the chief secretary to the President and Cabinet Misheck Sibanda directing the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) to investigate the allegations.
Mawere runs Prospect Consultancy, an organisation that equips people living with disabilities with technical skills, and the complaint that he filed against a magistrate who allegedly stayed on an execution of his claim against a city businessman Makhosi Nkomo, who alleged owed him $3 500.
In a letter addressed to Zacc titled, Allegations of Corruption in the Judiciary Services Bulawayo, gleaned by The Standard, Sibanda said: “The office is in receipt of a complaint from Mawere against the Clerk of Court in Magistrate’s Court Bulawayo. See the attached documents.”
Sibanda then ordered the commission to probe the allegations.
According to court documents, Mawere, the managing director of Prospect Consultancy, which trains people with disabilities development skills, welding and general engineering, stated that in 2013 he partnered with Nkomo to establish the consultancy in which he contributed some money.
He said Nkomo, who runs a steel fabrication company, Everyway Investment in Kelvin North, Bulawayo, later pulled out of the deal. In the process, Nkomo allegedly took away window frames and burglar bars made by the trainees worth $3 500, including cash he (Mawere) had seeded into the project.
Mawere had filed summons to claim his money and was granted the execution to attach property from Nkomo. Nkomo then filed an exparte application for stay of execution, which was granted on January 30 2015.
The exparte application was heard by Bulawayo magistrate Evelyn Mashavakure at the Bulawayo Small Claims Court, who on March 2 2015 ruled in Nkomo’s favour on the grounds that Mawere had failed to file notice of opposition papers to the exparte application.
She stayed the execution of the claim, much to the chagrin of Mawere who decided to take up the matter with the President.
In his complaint addressed to Mugabe, Mawere said when the magistrate made the ruling, he argued that he had served Nkomo with the opposition papers, but the magistrate went on to stay the execution in favour of Nkomo.
He said the magistrate instead referred him to the clerk of court saying the opposition papers were not in the court records.
Mawere accused the magistrate and the clerk of court of removing his papers from the record so as to give a defective ruling in favour of Nkomo.
Mawere said he did a review of the proceeding report, which he submitted to the provincial magistrate on August 30 and was awaiting a response.