Judge in trouble after delivering judgement before case was heard

Crimes and Courts

A High Court judge is in trouble after he delivered a judgement on a matter that has not been heard or argued in court.

Justice Webster Chinamora is alleged to have admitted the error in his Chambers and offered the aggrieved party an apology.

According to documents in the possession of Nehanda Radio related to a High Court case HC3847/20, Belwarie Holdings Private Limited versus Belearie Holdings and another.


One of the aggrieved parties, a Director of Belwarie Holdings Limited wrote a letter seeking the judge to rescind his erroneous judgement and recuse himself from the matter.

“We refer to judgment number HH559/23 which was handed down by Justice Chinamora in case number HC 3847/20 on the 17” of October 2023. The anomaly is that the Honorable Judge delivered judgement on a case which was not heard or argued.

“His Lordship has already admitted today (17 October) in chambers that he granted the judgement in error. In real terms a judgement was infact issued by the Honorable Judge albeit in error.


“We understand that Rule 29 allows him to rescind that judgment on his own initiative,” reads the letter from the aggrieved party Believe Guta.


“We are of the opinion that an error can not be corrected by an error. The correct procedure in our view is that the judge should on his own initiative issue another judgement rescinding the erroneous judgement of the 17 of October 2023.


“After that has been done the next thing is for the judge to recuse himself on all the 3 matters including the reserved ones,”

he wrote.


Guta added:

“Considering the gravity of the error in question and the fact that His Lordship has continued to reserve judgement in a joinder application by Sabre Services Pvt Ltd for a period which is now close to 3 years, it will be in the interest of justice if the cases are heard before a different judge unless if the other party is amenable to Sabre Services’ joinder under HC 5933/20 being granted by consent. In that case the judge can grant the joinder and thereafter recuse himself.”


Despite admitting to the book the aggrieved party is still waiting for the rescinded judgement.


Recently, Justice Chinamora pleaded for mercy after he released a cable thief who had been sentenced to 10 years in 2021.


This was after Judge President Mary Zimba Dube had pointed out that he erred in releasing the cable thief.


Chinamhora said he made a grave mistake saying he had learnt a cruel lesson following the mishap.


ln the judgement he corrected he said,


“Sitting in bail court on 8 October 2021, I made an order that, the applicant shall be released from prison custody unconditionally,”

Chinamora said.


“What I overlooked at the time is that the record had already come before the High Court and the proceedings had been confirmed to have been in accordance with real and substantial justice. I sincerely regret the grave oversight, which eventually led me to grant an order in error.


“I believed that the failure to inform that applicant of his right to legal representation entitled me to review the matter in terms of section 29 (4) of the High Court Act [Chapter 7:06],”

he said in his correct judgment after the boob.

Nehanda Radio