Chief Justice

Application that Zim’s former CJ be found in contempt of court

The decision by Zimbabwe’s former Chief Justice, Luke Malaba, to return to work despite a high court declaratory order that his tenure of office ended when he turned 70, has been challenged in court with an application that the former CJ be found in contempt of court, fined and imprisoned, for acting in a way that precipitated a ‘constitutional crisis’.

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Zimbabwe human rights lawyer, Musa Kika, has launched an urgent high court application for the former Chief Justice, Luke Malaba, to be found in contempt of court. This follows Judge Malaba’s return to work despite a court finding that he could not legally continue in office after turning 70.

Tough questions asked about JSC’s role in extending tenure of Zim’s retired CJ

The drama of Zimbabwe’s ‘judicial amendment’ is far from over. This week, two separate letters demanding information were sent to the judicial service commission, asking for details about the JSC’s role in considering or facilitating the extension of retired Chief Justice Luke Malaba’s tenure.

What, exactly, was the part played by the judicial service commission in facilitating another five years in office for Zimbabwe’s controversial former Chief Justice, Luke Malaba? And, since he was a kingpin in the JSC, did he declare a conflict of interest and excuse himself from any discussions on the matter?

These and other potentially embarrassing questions have been asked of the JSC by two firms of lawyers this week.

Drama as Zim court finds Chief Justice must retire, confusion about an appeal

An urgent application, brought last weekend to stave off a constitutional crisis in Zimbabwe, may not achieve this aim, despite a court victory. The case challenged the extension of office of the country’s chief justice, Luke Malaba, for an additional five years beyond the constitutionally mandated retirement age of 70, thanks to a new constitutional amendment. Human rights lawyer Musa Kika, in whose name the case was brought, said that if Malaba were to stay on, unconstitutionally, then all decisions he made would be void.

It was a weekend of great courtroom drama in Zimbabwe. Three high court judges unanimously decided that the country’s chief justice, Luke Malaba, was constitutionally barred from continuing in office beyond his 70th birthday on 15 May. He is thus now out of a job.

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