State of the Nation Reporter
Supreme Court Judge Justice Francis Bere has been fired today after spending 7 months on suspension on charges of unethical conduct and criminal abuse of office.
In a statement, The Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda revealed that Justice Bere was sacked following recommendations by the tribunal which was appointed by President Mnangagwa to probe his matter.
“Following the advice of the Judicial Service Commission that the question of removing Honourable Justice Francis Bere JA ought to be investigated, the President, acting in terms of Section 187(3) of the Constitution, appointed, though Proclamation Number 1 of 2020, a Tribunal to inquire into the question of removal from office of the said Judge.
“The Tribunal has completed its investigations and has recommended that Honourable Justice Francis Bere JA be removed from office for acts of gross misconduct.
“His Excellency, the President, accordingly, acting in terms of Section 187 (8) of the Constitution, has removed the Honourable Judge from office with immediate effect,” the statement reads.
Justice Bere was being charged with three counts of improper conduct after a Harare lawyer accused him of interfering in a civil case.
He denied the charges, before challenging the whole tribunal, seeking to invalidate Proclamation 1 of 2020, the legal instrument issued by President Mnangagwa, at the request of the Judicial Service Commission, to set up the tribunal.
Justice Bere, who was serving on both the Constitutional Court and Supreme Court benches, was suspended in March this year, pending a probe into potential misconduct. He is accused of meddling in a civil case involving the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) boss and his relatives.
Justice Bere allegedly telephoned Mr Itai Ndudzo, who was representing Zinara, asking him to consider settling a civil dispute pitting Zinara against Fremus Enterprises. Complaints against him were raised before Deputy Chief Justice Elizabeth Gwaunza during a court hearing and Mr Ndudzo was asked to make the complaint in writing.