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Friday, December 2, 2022
HomeCourtsMbatha Seeks High Court Nod To Sue ‘Biased’ Judge For Attempting To Overturn A US$180k Sexual Harrassment Ruling.

Mbatha Seeks High Court Nod To Sue ‘Biased’ Judge For Attempting To Overturn A US$180k Sexual Harrassment Ruling.

By Victor Fanuel

HARARE – The outspoken director of the Women’s Comfort Corner Foundation (WCCF), Rita Marque Mbatha, is seeking the right to sue High Court judge Justice Catherine Bachi-Mzawazi, whom she accuses of unprofessionally attempting to overturn a US$180,000 sexual harassment ruling she won.

Mbatha sought leave to sue Mzawazi on Monday, as required by rule 12 (21) of the High Court Rules 2021, which states that the right to sue a judge must be granted by the High Court.

She is requesting that Mzawazi pay her US$500,000 in restitution for her conduct, which she claims traumatized her and violated her constitutional rights.

In her leave to sue, Mbatha alleged that Mzawazi threatened and harassed her in choreographed attempt to overturn US$180 000 damages she was awarded for a 20-year-old sexual harrassment case she won against her ex boss Farai Bwatikona Zizhou.

“The Respondent (Mzawazi) called me into her Chambers and averred that she wanted me to consent to the setting aside of the judgement between myself and Farai Bwatikona Zizhou and I refused.

“The matter was yet to be adjudicated. An order to appear in chambers was meant to intimidate me into submission.

“Respondent then began shouting and threatening me,” wrote Mbatha in her leave to sue.

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“Circumstance in my submission takes away the veil of protection afforded by the constitution in that it shows Respondent to have acted mala fide and without a reasonable basis. I have a right to dignity and not to be abused. I am traumatised.

“The tirade continued in Court L. Considering what happened in Chambers I had no choice but to record the proceedings in Court. I have also requested a copy of transcript of proceedings from the High Court.

“As a result of the substantive contentions that I make, I contend that I am entitled to compensation for the breach of my constitutional rights which occurred in the Respondent’s Chambers. In that regard, I intend to claim payment of the sum of US$ 500, 000,” further wrote Mbatha.

Last December, Zizhou, the former Confederation of Zimbabwe Industries (CZI) ceo was found guilty for sexually harassing Mbatha who worked as his personal assistant between 2002 and 2003.

Zizhou in April filed an application for rescission of the US$180,000 ruling made by High Court Judge Justice Joseph Mafurise, arguing that the claim for US $ 50 000 in the summons was unsustainable and that the general threshold of damages awarded by the High Court was US$5000.

Mbatha’s leave to sue Mzawazi follows a formal complaint she previously made with Judicial Service Commission (JSC) secretary Walter Chikwanha about the Hifg Court judge’s conduct.

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