Justice

Francis Bere
Photo of Francis Bere
Judge
Appointed byPresident Emmerson Mnangagwa

Francis Bere is a Zimbabwean lawyer and a judge of the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe and a former Judge of the High Court of Zimbabwe. He was appointed to the Supreme court bench in 2018.

Justice Francis Bere was elected president of the Sadc Administrative Tribunal (SadcAT) during the court’s elections held in Gaborone, Botswana.[1]

Removal from Office

The President Emmerson Mnangagwa has with immediate effect, removed Supreme Court Judge, Francis Bere, from office for acts of gross misconduct. This follows recommendations from the Tribunal appointed to enquire into the matter. This was after the advice of the Judicial Service Commission the the question of removing Honourable Justice Bere ought to be investigated.[2]

Bere was sacked following recommendations by a tribunal set up to inquire into his suitability to hold the office of a judge. He had been on suspension since March 2020 to pave way for the inquiry. President Mnangagwa set up the tribunal inquiry after a lawyer accused him of interference in a civil case involving the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) and his relatives.

After receiving the report in the morning of 15 October 2020 from the Judicial Service Commission, President Mnangagwa did not waste time and acted on the recommendations. In a statement this afternoon, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet, Dr Misheck Sibanda, said the tribunal completed its investigations and recommended that Justice Bere be removed from office for acts of gross misconduct. “His Excellency the President, accordingly, acting in terms of Section 187(8) of the Constitution has removed the Honourable Judge from office with immediate effect,” said Dr Sibanda.

Justice Bere allegedly telephoned the lawyer who was representing Zinara, asking him to consider settling a civil dispute pitting Zinara against Fremus Enterprises. Justice Bere was serving on both the Constitutional Court and Supreme Court benches when he was suspended in March this year.[3]

Controversies

  • In the three-year period between 2013 and 2015, 43 percent of the cases which he presided over, were overturned on appeal to the Supreme Court.[4]
  • In 2016, When the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) was conducting interviews for four positions of judges of the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe, then Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba said that Bere had below average performance and poor judgements.

References

  1. Supreme Court Judge Elected Sadc Administrative Tribunal (SadcAT) President ⋆ Pindula News, Pindula News, retrieved: 31 Oct 2018
  2. Min of Info, [1], Ministry of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Published: 15 October, 2020, Accessed: 15 October, 2020
  3. Fidelis Munyoro, [2], The Herald, Published: 15 October, 2020, Accessed: 15 October, 2020
  4. Cyril Zenda (October 6, 2016). "The day the judges went on trial". Financial Gazette. ANZ. Retrieved July 6, 2017.