Maphios Cheda
Maphios Cheda Biography
Known forBeing a retired High Court judge


Maphios Cheda is a Zimbabwean lawyer and retired judge. Cheda is a former Bulawayo High Court and High Court of Namibia judge. In June 2021, he was appointed by Emmerson Mnangagwa in the tribunal meant to investigate allegations of misconduct against Thompson Mabhikwa. Cheda was replaced by November Mtshiya in September 2021 after he recused himself.

Properties

Cheda owns Masitane Farm in Ward 23 Matobo. The farm located about 45km from Bulawayo, and 2km from the Bulawayo-Plumtree Highway was turned into a safari lodge called Phomolo.[1]

Career

High Court of Namibia

Maphios Cheda made a number of landmark rulings at the High Court of Namibia which were cited in a number of law journals. His first ruling delivered on 23 July 2018, involved a dispute between Faida Trading and Clearing Enterprises and Nedbank.

According to court papers an employee from Faida Trading and Clearing Enterprises had approached Nedbank with the intention of making a money transfer to a US company, Amazing Grace. However, in the process the employee had to cancel the transfer after realising he had the wrong banking details. He later came back with the correct details but the Nedbank cashier transferred the money to the wrong account.

In 2013, Faida Trading and Clearing Enterprises approached the High Court asking for an order compelling Nedbank to pay back the US$39 300 wrongly transferred from the company account, plus interest. In his judgment Cheda ultimately ordered the bank to pay up, with interest and legal costs.

In his second high profile judgment, Maphios Cheda heard the case where six councillors were challenging their dismissal by King Immanuel Kauluma Elifas of the Ondonga Kingdom. Despite pressure from the King’s legal team and the Ondonga Kingdom, Cheda granted an order compelling King Elifas to give oral testimony in the matter in which the councillors were challenging their dismissal. The king’s legal team had unsuccessfully argued that the application to have the king testify was an attempt to test his mental capabilities in an open court.[2]

Mental Health Review Tribunal

In May 2021, he was appointed chairperson of the Mental Health Review Tribunal whose aim was to decongest Chikurubi, Mulondolozi and other correctional and rehabilitation institutions. The Tribunal was established in terms of Section 75 of the Mental Health Act [Chapter 15:12].[3]

Tribunal Inquiring Mary Manjengwa & Tadius Muzoroza's Dismissal

In October 2020, Maphios Cheda was sworn in as Chairman of the Tribunal to inquire into the removal from office of Commissioner Mary Manjengwa and Commissioner Tadius Muzoroza.[4]

Mabhikwa Misconduct Tribunal

On June 17, 2021, Maphios Cheda was appointed as chairperson of a tribunal set up to determine Justice Thompson Mabhikwa's fitness to hold the office of High Court judge.

Mabhikwa of the Bulawayo High Court was being probed after nude pictures and raunchy texts were sent to several people, including a WhatsApp group of judges, from the judge’s phone.

On 14 September 2021, Cheda was replaced by November Matshiya after he recused himself from the inquiry on the grounds that he is related to the woman at the centre of the probe. Cheda informed the justice ministry that he was related to Oratile Nare who was Justice Mabhikwa's girlfriend.[5]

Land Dispute

Villagers of Ward 24 Matobo district accused Cheda of encroaching into their properties. Cheda was allocated land in the area in 2010. They claimed that in 2010 Cheda went and divided the village into two and took more than three-quarters of the land.

During the same year, the villagers said they invited the district administrator and the lands officer to explain why they allocated Cheda the land.

They wanted the judge to receive 100 hectares only, instead of the A1 farm he received.

Cheda was accused of removing a water pump that was given to villagers who said they had to resort to drinking water from unprotected sources. According to the villagers, Cheda at one time allowed women to cut thatching grass inside his boundary and later took the grass from them, claiming they were trespassing.

It is further alleged that Cheda destroyed recreation facilities and closed an area designated for burial. Allegations included his fencing the dam within his area and randomly shooting game without notifying villagers.

Cheda's farm manager, Lee Siziba, said Cheda was given an offer letter by the government and occupied space within the mentioned boundary.[6]

References

  1. NQOBANI NDLOVU, Cheda transforms farm into tourist haven, Southern Eye, Published: March 31, 2015, Retrieved: September 20, 2021
  2. Vusumuzi Dube, Cheda gets rave reviews in Namibia, Sunday News, Published: October 7, 2018, Retrieved: September 20 2021
  3. Mental Health Tribunal hits the ground running, mohcc.gov.zw, Published: May 20, 2021, Retrieved: September 20, 2021
  4. Nick Mangwana, Twitter, Published: October 15, 2020, Retrieved: September 20, 2021
  5. Cheda withdraws from Justice Mabhikwa tribunal, Mtshiya appointed, ZimLive, Published: September 16, 2021, Retrieved: September 20, 2021
  6. BENSON DUBE, Villagers up in arms against judge, Southern Eye, Published: March 26, 2015, Retrieved: September 20, 2021