By Ruvarashe Dhliwayo
Government will contest the High Court ruling which prohibited the extension of former Chief Justice Luke Malaba’s tenure in office.
An appeal by Young Lawyers Association of Zimbabwe challenged the extension of tenure of former Chief Justice Malaba, by virtue of the amendment of section 186 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe by Constitution of Zimbabwe Ammendment Act (No 2), which came into force on May 7, 2021.
The High Court ruled that Malaba’s tenure came to an end on May 15, 2021 and on the basis that as an incumbent he was prohibited from benefiting from the ammendment allowing for the extension of term limits of judges after 70 years.
In a statement, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs secretary Virginia Mabiza said, “The Government of Zimbabwe, having given its full consideration to the judgement of the High Court in the above referenced matter, holds with respect a different view and is unable for many reasons to agree with the judgement of the Honourable Court in that matter.”
“It has therefore taken measures to have the judgement set aside in accordance with the law.
“The Government of Zimbabwe will implement all necessary processes triggered by the noting of an appeal against the judgement.”
“Further, the authority of the judiciary and all its respective offices and structures remains in place with the courts full functional in discharging their constitutional mandate.
The statement by Mabhiza comes days after Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi’s outburst over the ruling threatening High Court judges.
The ruling did not sit well with Ziyambi, who threatened the judges, accusing them of being captured by hostile foreign governments.
His remarks courted the ire of human rights lawyers who are demanding that the minister be arraigned before the court on contempt of court charges.
Ziyambi, who was a litigant in the matter, said the ruling was “a typical case of overreach and as government we cannot accept that”.