Former High Court judge, Erica Ndewere, has been ordered to surrender a Mercedes Benz she was given by the Government during her time in office.
Ndewere was removed from the bench by President Emmerson Mnangagwa on 17 June 2021 over misconduct allegations.
She, however, had retained possession of the Mercedes Benz E300 registration number ADY 474, which is registered in the name of the Master of the High Court, a former department of the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).
High Court judge, Justice Samuel Deme, granted the request by the JSC which sought an order compelling Ndewere to surrender the vehicle to the High Court sheriff pending a full hearing on the matter. Ruled Justice Deme:
Pending the finalisation of this matter, JSC is granted the following relief; that motor vehicle, Mercedes Benz E300, registration number ADY 4743, be and is hereby placed under judicial attachment.
Ndewere be and is hereby ordered to surrender the above-mentioned vehicle to the Sheriff at the High Court, Harare, Samora Machel Avenue, Harare, within 24 hours of service of this order where the motor vehicle shall be kept/stored by the Sheriff pending the return day.
Ndewere was given two top of the range vehicles, a Land Rover Discovery 4, registration number ADM 9276 and the Mercedes Benz by the JSC under conditions of service.
Her request to purchase the Land Rover was granted on 9 April 2021. The JSC demanded the return of the Mercedes Benz on 19 April 2022 but Ndewere allegedly refused to do so.
Ndewere insisted that she was entitled to purchase the vehicle, arguing that the JSC was not the owner of the vehicle, but the office of the President.
She also submitted that the request by the JSC was done unlawfully.
But the JSC argued that the option to purchase the vehicle was no longer available for Ndewere because she was no longer a sitting judge.
Meanwhile, Justice Deme has directed both parties not to use the Mercedes Benz until the matter is finalised.