Judges lash ‘disingenuous’ magistrate for ‘mind-boggling’ action

A provincial magistrate has come under fire from two judges of the high court in Zimbabwe for “conducting himself as a loose cannon” and for not telling the truth to an accused about what the judges had ordered in their review of the original trial court sentence. The magistrate first imposed a hopelessly lenient sentence on a bus driver whose negligence directly caused the death of six people and then misrepresented to the accused the high court’s order on review.

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THE unusually strong criticism of the high court judges in this matter was directed at an unnamed provincial magistrate who made a mess of sentencing an accused and then made the situation worse by not following the order of the judges in their review of the case.

Oops! We Blew it! Zimbabwe’s supreme court backtracks earlier international law decision

TOP courts rarely revisit their own decisions and own up to being wrong. But Zimbabwe’s supreme court has done exactly that, finding that a key section of a 2004 judgment was wrong. Not just that: the mistake has had to be admitted under the watchful eye of the world’s international organizations, all of whom were potentially affected by the outcome. To make matters even more sensitive, one of the judges who concurred in the earlier decision has now been the author of the correction, none other than the president chief justice, Luke Malaba.

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WRITING for a five-member Supreme Court, Zimbabwe’s Chief Justice Luke Malaba does not pull any punches about that country’s top court having made a mistake. A critical section of the 2004 judgment “is wrong”, he declares, adding: “It must not be followed.”

Zimbabwe victims of SA’s banking woes in novel relief bid

SA’s corruption woes are casting long shadows across the whole region. Highly improper decisions to “invest” in two discredited SA financial outfits, VBS Mutual Bank and Mamepe Capital, have led to the demise of a Namibian bank intended to provide banking facilities for Namibia’s small businesses and disadvantaged communities. The insolvency of the bank has in turn hit its two minorities shareholders, both from Zimbabwe. Lawyers for the Zimbabwe shareholders have tried, unsuccessfully, to persuade Namibia’s highest court not to wind up the bank.

* This article first appeared in Legalbrief

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