President Appoints Tribunal To Investigate High Court Judge Mabhikwa After Bedroom Photos Leaked
President Emmerson Mnangagwa has appointed a three-member tribunal to investigate High Court judge Justice Thompson Mabhikwa to see whether he should be removed from office. The judge is under scrutiny after his bedroom photos, as well as raunchy WhatsApp messages, were leaked onto social media.
The compromising images and WhatsApp messages are suspected to have been leaked by an irate lover when she discovered that his worship was double-timing her.
The tribunal which will look into the allegations of “sexual harassment” and “possession of pornographic material” will be chaired by retired judge Maphios Cheda. He will be assisted by lawyers Chaka Mashoko and Phillipa Magnify Phillips.
The President said that the Cheda tribunal should investigate whether Justice Mabhikwa’s conduct “can be deemed to have been tantamount to gross misconduct.” The President charged the panel to
“investigate whether or not the Honourable Justice Mabhikwa (a) committed acts of sexual harassment (b) possessed pornographic material… and to investigate any other matter which the tribunal may deem appropriate and relevant to the question of removal from office of a judge in terms of the law.”
The panel has three months to carry out its investigations and to give a recommendation to President Emerson Mnangagwa “on whether the Honourable Judge is fit to hold office.”
The judge came under fire following an expose by online publication Zimlive in February. It was alleged that Justice Mabhikwa, who lost his wife in December, was exposed by his lover Oratile Nare. Nare is an assistant to fellow Bulawayo High Court judge, Justice Maxwell Takuva.
Nare is said to have become furious after she went through the High Court judge’s phone and discovered that he was carrying out an affair with another woman. The judge is alleged to have sent the other woman pictures of his privates.
Nare was so furious at the betrayal that she left with the Judge’s phone and began forwarding his correspondence with the other woman to almost all the judge’s contacts. She also forwarded the compromising pictures and chats to a judges’ group.
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