Justice
Thompson Mabhikwa
Justice-mabhikwa-.jpg
Known forHigh Court Judge


Thompson James Mabhikwa is a Zimbabwean legal practitioner who was appointed a judge of the High Court in December 2017 by President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Background

Wife

Mabhikwa's wife died on December 4 2020.[1]

Controversies

Nude Pictures

On 20 February 2021, Mabhikwa's friends, family and colleagues woke up to nude pictures and raunchy WhatsApp messages sent from his phone – apparently by a woman named Oratile Nare, a young assistant of Justice Maxwell Takuva. The woman sent the messages after she had allegedly discovered Mabhikwa was seeing another woman. Nare went through Mabhikwa’s phone sometime during the night and discovered that the judge had sent pictures of his manhood to another woman identified only as Petty or Patie.

Nare left Mabhikwa’s house with his phones and began forwarding his exchanges with the other woman to almost all is contacts – including a judges’ group. A report was made after the judge’s colleagues could not find him on his phones, and he had left home for an unknown destination on 21 February 2021.

Nare was reportedly hanging up and not answering the judge’s phones while she continued sending messages. When the judge left the house, another source said, he was responding to a demand by Nare to undergo an HIV test. The judge apparently arrived to find Nare with his other lover, who also took the test.

Mabhikwa was unreachable when a publication contacted him for a comment, while a spokesperson for the Judicial Service Commission said they would only be able to respond on 22 February 2021 when they returned to work.[1]

In June 2021, Emmerson Mnangagwa appointed a three-member tribunal “to inquire into the question of removal from office” of Justice Thompson James Mabhikwa of the Bulawayo High Court on allegations of “sexual harassment” and “possession of pornographic material.”

The tribunal was chaired by retired judge Maphios Cheda, assisted by lawyers Chaka Mashoko and Phillipa Magnify Phillips.

In his proclamation, Mnangagwa said the Cheda panel would investigate whether Justice Mabhikwa’s conduct “can be deemed to have been tantamount to gross misconduct.”

The panel would also “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 was ordered to report the findings of its inquiry to Mnangagwa within three months with a recommendation “on whether the Honourable Judge is fit to hold office.”[2]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Sipho Mabuza, Justice Mabhikwa in hot water after his nudes sent to judges’ group, ZimLive, Published: February 20, 2021, Retrieved: February 22, 2021
  2. SIPHO MABUZA, Mnangagwa appoints porn and sexual harassment tribunal for Justice Mabhikwa, ZimLIve, Published: June 17, 2021, Retrieved: June 17, 2021