Home Politics Judge goes AWOL for seven months

Judge goes AWOL for seven months

High Court judge Justice Edith Mushore has not reported for duty for seven months and the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) is now set to put in place the procedure required to determine her suitability to continue as a judicial officer.

The JSC secretariat has referred the absenteeism case to the commissioners.

 

Justice Mushore last reported for duty on June 14 last year and has yet to give a formal explanation. Judges cannot be absent from work for more than three days without official leave and if unwell are asked to send in a doctor’s report so they are granted sick leave.

 

Efforts by her superiors in the judiciary to get an explanation from Justice Mushore, and invitations for her to send her driver with a doctor’s report, have been in vain and no one from the JSC has been able to gain admittance to her home.

 

JSC Secretary Mr Walter Chikwana confirmed the latest development.

 

“Justice Mushore’s absenteeism case is now before the commission. Since June 14, the judge never reported for duty. It’s now seven months since she last came to work and the commissioners are set to deliberate on the issue and map the way forward,” said Mr Chikwana.

 

The Judge President of the High Court has since allocated Justice Mushore’s cases to other judges to ensure the litigants get justice within reasonable time.

 

Justice Edith Mushore is attached to the Family Law Court at the High Court. When asked initially for an explanation she indicated she was unwell but she has not sent a sick note. Three separate letters were written by her superiors at the High Court asking her to at least send a driver with the doctor’s note, but without success.

 

The head of the High Court’s family law division, her immediate superior, in June last year wrote Justice Mushore a letter asking her to explain her absence from work.

 

A month later, the Judge President of the High Court wrote again to Justice Mushore reminding her that her absence from work without official explanation amounts to misconduct. She was even asked to send her driver with the sick note but to no avail.

 

On August 12 last year, the Judge President informed Chief Justice Luke Malaba of the development and he then sought an explanation from Justice Mushore in writing but up to now she has not responded.

 

In June, the motion court failed to sit after Justice Mushore did not attend. She then failed to attend to a chamber application that had been allocated to her and this had to be hurriedly transferred when her assistant sent the file to the Judge President.

 

At one time, she reportedly told her seniors at the High Court that she was contemplating resignation but no resignation has so far been tendered. Justice Mushore was appointed to the bench in 2015.

 

Before her appointment as a judge, she worked as a legal practitioner in private legal practice. Herald

 

 

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