By Staff Reporter
Beleaguered former Chief Justice Luke Malaba (70) turned up for work on Monday, in defiance of a High Court ruling which said he ceased to be a judge on May 15.
Sources said the embattled Malaba spent most of the day at his former office at the Constitutional Court Building in central Harare.
Malaba is waiting for his final fate after the Judiciary Service Commission (JSC) and Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi last week filed an appeal at the Supreme Court.
His presence was supported and confirmed by JSC secretary Walter Chikwana.
“The Chief Justice has always been at work since the day the government noted an appeal in the Supreme Court against the order of the High Court. The suspension of the order is by operation of the law.”
Following the retirement of Godfrey Chidyausiku, Malaba was appointed Acting Chief Justice on 1 March 2017.
During interviews to become the Chief Justice, he scored 92 percent, achieving the highest score of those interviewed. He assumed the office on 27 March 2017.
In July 2018, Malaba ruled that former President Robert Mugabe had freely resigned, and was not coerced.
The Chief Justice, in a unanimous supreme court decision in August 2018, concurred with the other eight justices of the court, in a ruling that president Emmerson Mnangagwa’s July 2018 election was lawfully conducted, and had “complied with prescribed procedures”, dismissing the political opposition’s claims to the contrary.
On 15 May 2021 the high court of Zimbabwe retired him as the chief justice and ruled his extension of office was unconstitutional.
Under the Zimbabwe Constitution, Chief Justice Malaba is required to retire when he reaches 70 years of age on 15 May 2021.
He spent 3 years as a public prosecutor in Bulawayo [1981 -1984 ], before beginning his career as a magistrate in 1984 at Masvingo.
Malaba rose steadily through the ranks of the magistracy and attained the rank of regional magistrate in 1990.
He was appointed as a judge of the High Court in 1994.
He served as a Judge of the Bulawayo High court from 1994 to 2001.
He was elevated to the Supreme Court in August 2001 and became the country’s first Deputy Chief Justice in 2008. Justice Malaba has also held an appointment as a judge of the COMESA Court of Justice.