Ex-army captain seeks judge’s recusal

Solomon Ndlovu has written to the court expressing reservations over the conduct of Justice Bongani Ndlovu whom he wants to recuse himself.

A FORMER Zimbabwe National Army captain, who was wrongly incarcerated, has asked the Bulawayo High Court to remove a judge presiding over his lawsuit against a prominent businessman.

Solomon Ndlovu has written to the court expressing reservations over the conduct of Justice Bongani Ndlovu whom he wants to recuse himself.

The ex-soldier is suing businessman and Zanu PF activist Osfael Mazibuko for causing his arrest and imprisonment on false car theft charges.

His conviction was, however, reversed by the High Court after he had already served one year and eight months at Khami Maximum Security Prison in Bulawayo.

Solomon is suing Mazibuko for US$102 800 damages for loss of his houses, 78 heads of cattle and tractors.

In a letter dated November 28, addressed to the High Court Registrar in Bulawayo and copied to Justice David Mangota and army headquarters, Solomon wants Justice Ndlovu to recuse himself.

“This letter serves to put into record that the case started long back in year 2021 and I was told to follow stages of the High Court which are pre-trial conference, which was done by lawyers, a pre-trial which was done by a judge and we are left with two matters to be discussed on my trial,” he said.

“On November 16, the matter was supposed to be heard but I was not even informed. My lawyer Arkisayi James Dhliwayo of Hara was informed in the morning of the same day that he was supposed to attend the court session.”

The ex-soldier said Dhliwayo went to court and was advised that his agreement with Mazibuko must be taken for forensic.

He argued that this was supposed to be done by the investigating officer and the magistrate who tried him.

Solomon said the magistrate and the judge failed to check the registration book of the car allegedly sold to him before his arrest.

He said another Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Christopher Dube Banda was Mazibuko’s friend who represented him before he became a judge.

Solomon also prayed that the case be moved to the Mutare High Court.

“As long as they are appointees of judges who have interest in the matter, it is better to change or give it to another judge,” his letter read.

“Dube Banda Nzarayapenga and my lawyers know that Mazibisa is having so many identity cards and signatures that I have attached (sic)to prove that he is not a mere person but a 'fraudster' who changes anything that is why in the pretrial conference when I produced these he did not say anything.

“Judge Ndlovu did not check that when I was taken to prison Mazibuko occupied my farm until he was removed by the High Court. I pray for the recusal of Judge Ndlovu in my case.”

Solomon’s lawyers delivered the letter to the High Court yesterday.

Recently, he complained to the High Court that the Judicial Service Commission’s integrated electronic case management system was delaying his case against Mazibuko.

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