Justice

Esther Muremba
Photo of Esther Muremba
Judge
Appointed byPresident Robert Mugabe

Esther Muremba is a Zimbabwean lawyer and a judge of the High Court of Zimbabwe. She was appointed by President Robert Mugabe in 2013. Justice Esther Muremba was sworn in on the 14th of July 2014, by President Robert Mugabe himself. [1] Before her appointment as a High Court judge, Esther Muremba was a senior regional magistrate for the Central Division.[1]

Notable Cases

Caning of Underage Offenders

She passed a ruling that juvenile offenders should not be sentenced to caning noting that corporal punishment is unconstitutional and has no place in Zimbabwe’s statutes because it is inhuman and degrading. Justice Esther Muremba ruled against sentencing underage offenders to strokes while upholding the conviction of a 15-year-old boy of rape.

The boy had been sentenced to receive moderate corporal punishment of three strokes with a rattan cane by a magistrate, but appealed against the sentence at the High Court.[2]

Divorce

In December 2015 she ruled that the courts have no power to compel couples to remain in marriage when one party insists on divorce.

Justice Esther Muremba granted a decree of divorce in favour of a Harare woman, Elta Matore, despite the fact that her former husband of 12 years, Enock Johannes Matore, was insisting on trying to salvage the marriage through prayer.

Matore was strongly opposed to the divorce, arguing that he still loved his wife and that his wife was only possessed by a spirit of divorce. Elta told the court that the marriage was irretrievably broken as the couples had differences on financial issues.[3]

Tambudzani Mohadi Maintenance Claim

Justice Muremba threw out a $13 394 post-divorce maintenance claim sought by Kembo Mohadi’s former wife Tambudzani Bhudhagi. Murema ruled that it was clear she wanted to punish Mohadi for divorcing her.

She added that Mohadi cannot be burdened by looking after Tambudzani, a Zanu PF Beitbridge senator because she was once his wife adding that she should accept that he had moved on with his life. Justice Muremba said Tambudzani should stop acting like a traditional wife and fend for herself considering that she was also gainfully employed and walked out of the marriage with a fair share of family assets.[4]

FBC Bank Bribe Allegations

In May 2021 there was a report that FBC Bank attempted to give an inducement Esther Muremba to influence the ruling of a matter in which they were facing a lawsuit from a client. The bank appeared in court on March 30 2021, and an emissary tried to bribe Justice Esther Muremba with a gift bag whose contents were not revealed.

Muremba denied the gift with a source who spoke to the publication saying:

"She walked in court and asked Mr Muchada who represented FBC to explain this ‘gesture’. Muchada sought instructions from his client (FBC) and was told that it was an annual gift they give to all judges as Christmas gifts, Muremba fumed and asked them to take their gift back immediately and she also questioned the logic of receiving a Christmas gift in March."

[5]



References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Zvamaida Murwira (July 15, 2013). "President swears in 6 High Court judges". Herald. Zimpapers. Retrieved July 6, 2017.
  2. Innocent Ruwende, High Court outlaws caning of offenders •Corporal punishment unconstitutional, degrading — Judge, The Herald, Published: January 17, 2015, Retrieved: May 4, 2021
  3. High Court ‘changes’ divorce law, The Chronicle, Published: December 24, 2015, Retrieved: May 4, 2021
  4. Mary Taruvinga, VP Mohadi’s Ex-Wife Loses $13k Maintenance Claim, NewZimbabwe.com, Published: March 10, 2020, Retrieved: May 4, 2021
  5. Nigel Pfunde, FBC bank in bribery storm, High Court judge turns down offer, Zim Morning Post, Published: May 4, 2021, Retrieved: May 4, 2021