Chief Court Reporter
The disciplinary tribunal hearing of misconduct allegations against suspended Supreme Court judge Justice Francis Bere will now go ahead, after it decided not to stop proceedings until the High Court rules on whether or not it was proper to convoke a tribunal.
Retired judge Justice Simbi Mubako, who chairs the three-member panel, delivered the ruling and ordered the parties to agree on a date to resume hearing the case.
Justice Bere’s lawyer Professor Lovemore Madhuku told The Herald that the application to stop the proceedings pending the determination of their client’s application at the High Court challenging the process leading to the inquiry had been turned down.
“The tribunal said there was no justified reason to stay the proceedings,” he said.
“We have been asked to come up with a date to commence the hearing. We are going to meet our client to get instructions.”
Justice Bere is facing three charges of improper conduct after a Harare lawyer accused him of interfering in a civil case.
He denied the charges, before challenging the tribunal process.
The tribunal heard the defence team’s oral submissions and was also considering written submissions by both parties.
When the hearing commenced two weeks ago, the defence team led by Advocate Firoz Girach raised a preliminary point seeking to stay the proceedings of the tribunal pending the determination of the application to the High Court to end the whole tribunal process.
The lawyers argued that the tribunal has no jurisdiction to hear the matter since Justice Bere had applied to challenge Proclamation 1 of 2020 at the High Court.
Proclamation 1 of 2020 is the legal instrument which establishes the tribunal.
Justice Bere had recently made an urgent High Court application to stay proceedings until his main application was head, but the High Court decided there was no urgency, meaning the tribunal could proceed.
The other members of the tribunal are Harare lawyers Mrs Rekayi Maphosa and Advocate Takawira Nzombe.