Outrage over judges’ demands

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JUDGES have come under fire for demanding farms from government as part of their conditions of service with opposition politicians and analysts yesterday saying judicial officers should refrain from asking for government “freebies” as that had the potential of compromising their independence.

FELUNA NLEYA

This follows recent reports that five newly appointed High Court judges had since engaged the Ministry of Lands and Rural Resettlement seeking commercial farms.

The request, according to correspondence shown to NewsDay, was initiated by Judge President Justice George Chiweshe on May 15 this year on behalf of Justices Erica Ndewere, Esther Muremba, Owen Tagu, Nokuthula Moyo and Amy Tsanga.

MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora described the judges’ demand as a sad development.

“In our respectful view, this is a very sad development where the judges want to be given farms as part of their conditions of service,” Mwonzora said.

“It means that they are automatically compromised. It is an issue that must be condemned in its strongest view. Our view is that the conditions of service of the judges and magistrates must be improved so that they are not susceptible to corruption. But parcelling pieces of land to judicial officers compromises them.”
Analyst Alexander Rusero said: “These are issues that dominate the courts and this will put them in a compromised situation, especially after benefiting from these farms.

“Yes, they are citizens entitled to land also, but what will become of their duties? It will compromise the whole judicial service. It’s inappropriate from a judicial point of view.”

Another analyst Wellington Gadzikwa said: “There are two things to it: if someone wants to farm, they should get a farm, but if they are given farms under the land reform programme, is that not going to compromise their jobs?”

Gadzikwa further queried: “It’s a matter of ethics. Are they going to be professional after getting these farms? Why did they not get these farms before when they were being given to people?

Then there is something not clear why they want farms now. Are they not being compromised? Are they going to be impartial?”
But Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo defended the provision of farms to judges, saying the land reform programme was for the benefit of every Zimbabwean.

“That is a good development for them to be allocated farms,” Gumbo said. “Every Zimbabwean is entitled to be given land. As citizens, they should benefit from the country’s empowerment programmes.”

Some of the top judges that have benefited from the land reform programme include Justices Chinembiri Bhunu, Ben Hlatshwayo, Chidyausiku and David Mangota, among others.

22 COMMENTS

  1. But Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo defended the provision of farms to judges, saying the land reform programme was for the benefit of every Zimbabwean. Is that so Comrade Kugarika Gumbo???????

  2. Farming is big,big business & of course a calling.Are these judges not about to compete with other farmers to grow grass on those vast tracts of land? The judges are not to be outdone but remember,’EASY COME,EASY GO.’What a foolish but sure way of further destroying Zimbabwe!!!

  3. Are these judges not fighting to compete with other farmers to grow grass in those vast acres of prime land?? Surely these judges refuse to be outdone but ‘EASY COME,EASY GO. The destruction of Zimbabwe is an ongoing exercise & judges can’t be left behind.

  4. “But Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo defended the provision of farms to judges, saying the land reform programme was for the benefit of every Zimbabwean. Is that so Comrade Kugarika Gumbo???????

    If its supposed to benefit all people why didnt you give the people in chingwizi that so called land so they could benefit as well

    Must correct himself by saying its supposed to be given to Zanu PF loyalists and bootlickers only and not every Zimbabwean

  5. Why not give them farms?
    Arent they Zimbabweans like us? You prefer that they take bribes from criminals instead?
    I hate this Pull him Down Attitude displayed by many Zimbabweans

  6. 90% of Zimbabweans are unemployed and most hate to see people going to work and earning a living
    hence many support the removal of incentives to teachers or the removal of kombis off the road.
    Its all jealous and bad wishes that everyone just stays home and enjoy the sun.
    Thats why Africa Will never grow.

  7. I thought our judges understand that ‘Farming is as much a profession as being a legal judge’ in a court of law.You can’t win in two professions at one&the same time. You can’t have a cake to admire&eat at the same time. These judges will never be any richer simply because they also joined the land grabbing elite.Anyway,there is free land in Zimbabwe&judges can’t leave behind.
    One would have thought our judges respect property rights…!

  8. If the the MDC Glen View 28 took 3 solid years to get a not guilty judgement after spending the 3years behind bars,
    and now one year since the hearing on the electronic Voters roll
    what more after they get farms

  9. What about the plight of thousands Chitungwiza and Seke residents. What about the women and children who need to be supported in Chitungwiza and Seke than consider many farms for these selfish Judges and unjustified investment demands.

  10. as much as every Zimbabwean has a right to owning something on a piece of land we must bear in mind that land for commercial farming is limited and as such must be for farmers not for part time farmers or wanna be farmers.All the respect for our judges who are often referred to as learned is gone. How can we trust these fellows to deliver sound judgement when they cannot use the same to see that farming is a business and a profession just like being law/judiciary officers. For how long can the country remain in the land redistribution exercise, we were told it was over and successful and now we have a new program for judges. cry my beloved country of the literate but economically illiterate and bankrupt on sound judgement, and rational thinking.

    Men can acquire knowledge, but not wisdom. Some of the greatest fools ever known were learned-Spanish proverb.

  11. oh come on zimboz let them farm if they want to, why not. this pull him down and jealous syndrome is bad. its common knowledge that they don’t earn much from their jobs. better for them to farm and supplement their income rather than take bribes. Give judges farms!

  12. Why should judges not be allocated farms if they have resources to develop them.They can employ competent farm managers and grow tobacco just like Mugabe and Mai Mugabe.Why don’t the commentators attack multiple farm owners?It is nonsense to talk about compromising justice because judges have been allocated farms.Are they compromised because they drive Mercedes Benz vehicles provided by CMED.Judges are state employees,and obviously loyal to the government of the day.

  13. Kufandada, in a civilised nation judges should be loyal to the Zimbabwean constitution and independent of any government whether current or its successor. When you say they should be loyal to the government of the day you are suggesting they should rule in favour of government irrespective of the facts. Pathetic.

  14. We will see some unfortunate beneficiaries being evicted to pave way for the more deserving. Vicious cycle if everyone who is in a Government post demands a farm. There is a limited amount of prime land so umwe achatopabva chete kuti Judge vawane the best piece of land.

    They will probably want to be given land kumisha yavo or kunana Mazoe uko kudhuze na Grace so brace yourselves.Zvekupihwa izvi zvisina kana pepa rakanyorwa unongoona Bhasikiti asvika achiti ibvai pawanikwa tantalite ivo vachida kuisa judge or some army general…..

  15. THE ISSUE IS – ARE ALL CITIZENS BEING GRANTED THE SAME OPPORTUNITY AS THESE JUDGES. ARE THESE JUDGES MORE EQUAL THAN OTHER ZIM CITIZENS. IS THE LANDS MINISTRY GOING TO PUT THEM ON THE WAITING LIST JUST AS IT DOES TO EVERY LAND SEEKER TODAY? IF NOT WHY?

  16. If each time w appoint judges we parcel out land where will we continue to get theland from? And also remember as much as these judges are serving the nation and deserve to be well remunerated.but the who doesn’t? Teachers. doctors.soldiers.etc

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