A Chegutu man’s push for the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to investigate Justice Tendai Uchena for alleged misconduct has failed.
The man, Shingirai Dendera, claims Justice Uchena fraudulently released suspects who reportedly killed a Chegutu man at a farm in Mandalay Park for alleged maize theft in 2003.
Dendera is a brother to the now-deceased Tambudzai. He claims his brother’s alleged killers were released before the close of the State case, 19 years ago.
The accused in the matter, Fredrick Ngombe, a Mandalay Park farmer, Tonderai Murehwa, Fungai Manyumwa and Amon Terrence stood trial in 2007 on a murder charge at the High Court under file number CR343-4/07/2003, but were released before finalisation of the matter.
On 25 October 2022, Dendera wrote to the JSC demanding that they investigate Justice Uchena over alleged fraudulent conduct. The letter reads in part:
My complaint is, therefore, against Justice Uchena who was the trial judge.
Mr Muveza, who consented on behalf of the State, was not even the trial prosecutor.
In response, JSC secretary Bianca Makwande said their investigations established that procedures were correctly followed in granting the suspects bail. Makwande wrote on 18 November 2022:
The Office of the Registrar is now engaging the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) with a view to ensure the finalisation of the matter.
Through our engagements with the NPA, we noted that the accused persons were granted bail.
You may be aware that bail is a constitutionally guaranteed right to an accused person, especially if the court considers accused persons as proper candidates for bail.
It was also brought to our attention that you had previously raised the same issues with them, which issues were adequately dealt with.
We would, therefore, advise that you also engage the NPA and the police from your end to ensure the finalisation of the matter.
Dendera told NewsDay that the JSC was being protective of the judge’s alleged corrupt conduct. | NewsDay