FORMER Mashonaland West provincial magistrate Ruth Moyo, who rose to prominence after presiding over the exhumation case of the late former president Robert Mugabe, has been demoted to an ordinary magistrate on allegations incompetence.
Moyo has since been shunted to the Harare Magistrates Court. She was replaced by former Bindura magistrate, Langton Ndokera.
According to a recent leaked Judicial Service Commission (JSC) report compiled following station visits, JSC secretary Walter Chikwanha recommended Moyo’s demotion after noting her inability to manage affairs at various stations, including the long-standing and contentious understaffing at, and under-resourcing of, Kariba Magistrate’s Court.
“The provincial head (Moyo) who is apparently quite junior in the system was clearly struggling to manage the affairs of the province. It is also clear that her appointment to that position was prematurely done as she was appointed hardly one year after being appointed as provincial magistrate,” the report said.
“She obviously does not have the necessary experience to manage such a big province. The Chief Magistrate has been requested to redeploy her and move a more experienced magistrate to the province,” Chikwanha wrote
The recommendation was promptly implemented.
Among cases that led to her inglorious transfer was the mishandling of staffing and resources allocation matters at Kariba, which witnessed successive magistrates resigning out of frustration.
Since Moyo’s removal, case management has improved at Kariba, which is now operating with two magistrates, a shift from her imposed tradition of working as a “one-man court.”
Former Kariba magistrate Tafadzwa Mhlanga, forced to resign citing “burnout” October last year following alleged victimisation by Moyo, said he was vindicated by JSC’s decision to downgrade her and appoint an experienced officer.
“Kariba court had to go for almost a year without a station vehicle and l was using my own vehicle without getting fuel reimbursements from JSC. So finally justice was done, the truth came out on who was responsible,” said Mhlanga.
“Demoted Moyo attempted to create false charges against me during the run up to my resignation.”