Massive corruption, nepotism, sexual harassment and abuse of office have reportedly rocked the Judiciary Services Commission (JSC) under the watch of the country’s law enforcement agents, State of the Nation has learnt.
Internal sources in the organisation told this publication that these acts of misconduct are being orchestrated by four individuals namely, the J.S.C secretary Mr Walter T. Chikwanha and his deputies, Mr Mr Munamato Mutevedzi (Deputy Secretary for Legal Services), Sithembinkosi Msipa (Deputy Secretary for Support Service),and Elijah Makomo who is the Deputy Chief Magistrate.
The four individuals are said to have captured the J.S.C to an extent that every judge, magistrate and those in the country’s legal sector call them the Untouchable Elite four (U.E.4) because nothing is being done to them despite the fact that they are involved in a lot of corrupt activities.
Sources in the J.S.C said the U.E.4 are taking advantage of their influence and closeness to Chief Justice Luke Malaba, and the country’s leadership to act as they please. Reports from sources are saying that Mr Walter Chikwanha is the leader of the U.E.4. Chikwanha reportedly evaded arrest in 2014 and 2017 in the Ruby Auctions complaint which was raised against him. Internal sources said the case was swept under the carpet and never investigated even though there was and still is overwhelming evidence against CHIKWANHA and witnesses that are ready to have him pinned for his actions.
Chikwanha is also alleged to have misused the V.F.C funds which were donated by Unicef and Save The Children in 2013 in the company of his deputy, Mr Mutevedzi. This allegations were reportedly raised to the ZRP, ZACC, the Prosecutor General and the Chief Justice’s office but no investigations were made.
“The manner in which the complains were swept under the carpet justifies the view that many judges have that Chikwanha is untouchable in the J.S.C because everyone knows that those funds were abused” said the source.
Mr Chikwanha is also alleged to have amassed wealth through abusing the Sherriff ‘s office since 2013 by appointing companies linked to their relatives or friends to conduct sales of either valuable movables or immovable properties. Chikwanha reportedly owns Hollands Auctioneers which operates in Bulawayo, Mutare and Masvingo. Information we have on our disposal shows that Chikwanha uses his Brother, r Martin Chikwanha and a white man who we could not identify to act as his front man.
He also owns TANTES AUCTIONEERING in the city of Gweru which is fronted by his brother’s wife and DREW and FRASER AUCTIONEERS which is frounted by his relative called Mrs Euphrasia Mupedzisi. Implacable sources said Chikwanha uses his power and position to award his own shelf companies lucrative contracts to refurbish court rooms without following laid down J.S.C tender procedures and this has resulted in him amassing unexplained wealth.
State of the nation is possession of information which reveals that Chikwanha owns a double storey residential property in the affluent suburb of Glen lorne, which is valued at an estimated amount of half a million U.S dollars, a property in Southerton valued at around US $ 140 000, a state of the art beer hall in Rusape valued at around US $ 60 000, a farm with more than 150 herd of cattle and earth moving equipment valued at US $ 865 000. This has raised eyebrows among judges as they fail to understand how he attained all that wealth while he is a civil servant.
His Deputy,Mr Munamato Mutevedzi is also alleged to amassed wealth through accepting bribes in high profile cases. Sources told this publication that Mutevedzi instructs subordinates to handle high profile cases in a particular manner. Those who go against his instructions are either transferred to remote areas or discharged through a disciplinary committe that he has captured.
“Former Magistrate of Chitungwiza, Mr Mawere is one of many examples who fell victim to Mutevedzi’s authority. He was transferred to Binga when he defied instruction to convict all accused persons who had taken part in the protest that rocked the country beginning of the year. Instead of doing that, he acquitted some of them because there was no evidence incriminating them. The young man was left with no option but to leave the system abruptly” said the source.
Mutevedzi reportedly had an ugly fight with the Esigodini Resident Magistrate in a bid to frustrate him simply because in one of the meetings that was held at Rainbow towers earlier this year he was overheard by one of the members of the clique saying that J.S.C standards were deteriorating on a daily basis because there is no transparency and accountability in the way the system is being run by those in the secretariat.
“They wanted to convict him on trumped up charges of kidnapping and assault but he was discharged. He was also suspended twice this year and had his salary was cut from rtgs $2000 to rtgs $ 189.After challenging his transfer in the H.C, misconduct charges were preferred as is always norm when one beg to differ with that clique. The U.E.4 came up initially with 6 counts of trumped up misconduct charges before they were reduced to 4.They went on as is always the case to appoint a captured disciplinary committee which went on to deliberate on the allegations in the absence of the Magistrate or his legal team of 3 lawyers.”
“The Kezi magistrate suspension is also being stage managed in a bid to make it appear as if Mutevedzi is a criminal (man) on a mission and to try to mislead the whole country that the Esigodini Magistrate suspension was not personal. I bet my last cent that if that Magistrate appears before an independent tribunal being chaired by an either an Administrative, Labour or High Court judge all those misconduct allegations will be thrown away, “the source said.
In 2011, Mutevedzi was reportedly recorded and photographed at a service station by the complainants discussing with an accused person a pending matter but no misconduct charges were preferred against him. He is also alleged to have acquired stand number 13875 Galloway park in Norton from a well-known fraudster by the name JEMINA GUMBO and developed the stand in a very short space of time using V.F.C funds.
Sources told State of the Nation that there was an outcry over the timeliness of the completion of his house but the matter was never investigated. State of the Nation is in possession of information which reveals that Mutevedzi is a silent partner in one of the companies he co- owns with a Gweme of the Real Estates Council of Zimbabwe. The information also reveals that Mutevedzi is using this company to make a lot of money through selling movable and immovable properties at the court without following tender procedures.
Another member of the UE4, Mr Sithembinkosi Msipa is also alleged to have ganged up with his wife, Mr Pathekile Msipa who is the Reginal Magistrate based in Gweru to conduct acts of corruption and nepotism. Sources said Msipa used his influence to elevate his wife to the position she is holding.
“There is a matter where Pathekile Msipa fraudulently wedded the bride alone in the absence of the groom who at the time was in U.K and that matter came to light when the bride after having a quarrel with the groom went berserk and raised alarm with the Bulawayo C.l.Ds.Investigations were not finalised in that matter because all of a sudden she was elevated to the post of Provincial Magistrate in charge of Midlands and recently she was appointed a Regional Magistrate. Does the J S.C condone such mal-practices? If that is the case, It is very sad that we have a system that condones corruptions”.
Mr Sithembinkosi Msipa is said to be in the habit of awarding contracts to companies in exchange for kickbacks. Information we have reveals that Msipa a company called G-Star Pvt Ltd which also operates as Falcon Pvt Ltd to get tenders at the four high courts. In return, the company gives Msipa large sums of money as kickbacks.
Sources also told this publication that he uses his influence to instructs the Registrar, his deputies, and administration managers to act according to his will in the J.S.C. Those who oppose him are either demoted or discharged as he does not entertain any dissenting voice.
Mr Elijah Makomo who is also part of the U.E.4 in the J.S.C is also alleged to be corrupt to the bone. Information at our disposal reveals that Mr Makomo connived with the former Minister of Local Governance, Mr Ignitius Chombo to handle in a particular fashion or manner a matter involving a former Bindura Mayor in exchange for a residential stand in Chishawasha hills.
The information also reveals that in 2015 when he was Regional Magistrate, He received he accepted a bribe of U.S$ 8000 in cash from an Indian guy called Savaniah in the case of S v MUNAVA to twist the evidence and decide the matter in a manner which favoured the Inidan. The allegations are said to have been brought to Guvamombe ‘s attention and no action was taken as the matter was swept under the carpet.
The U.E.4 is also alleged to have sexually harassed a lot of women in the J.S.C. Impeccable sources said the four leaders have a habit of demanding sex from female members in the organisation. Those who submit to their demands are rewarded with promotions, appointments and favours to silence them while those who reject them are either demoted, transferred of suspended.
Information we gathered reveals that Mr Chikwanha sexually harassed six women whom he later appointed to positions of Regional Magistrates mostly in Bulawayo, Midlands and Masvingo. Information we gathered also reveals that one of the women whom Chikwanha abused was silence by being appointed to the position of Website Administrator after she had threatened to expose him.
Mr Munamato Mutevedzi is also alleged to have sexually harassed eight women in the J.S.C. Of the eight, three women rejected his sexual advances which resulted in them facing charges which were fabricated by Mutevedzi. Information we have gathered reveals that former Regional Prosecutor Tracey Mundanga refused to give sexual favours to Mutevedzi and this resulted in her being arrested which were later dropped.
Another Former Provincial Magistrate for Harare, Mrs Ntombizodwa Mazhandu had to resign from her post after allegations were raised against her by the disciplinary committee only because she rejected Mutevedzi’s sexual requests.