Justice Makarau and Justice Patel dismissed the high court judgement, and have ruled that Chief Justice Luke Malaba has always been legally in office and his tenure was extended by further 5 years. The Constitutional Court (ConCourt) has set aside a High Court ruling declaring the May 15 extension of Chief Justice Luke Malaba’s term invalid.
A lawyer Musa Kika had filed an application seeking the recusal of judges set to preside over a case where a Zanu PF activist, Marx Mupungu wanted the Constitutional Court to overturn a High Court ruling that nullified the extension of Malaba’s term of office. Kika had argued that the18 judges from the ConCourt and Supreme Court should recuse themselves from hearing Mupungu’s application.
Professor Lovemore Madhuku who opposed Kika’s application said the ConCourt ruling is confirmation that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s extension of Malaba’s tenure was within the confines of the law. President Mnangagwa in May extended Malaba’s term of office by an additional five years beyond 70 years. The extension was challenged at the courts with those opposed to the move arguing that the extension was illegal as per the 2013 Constitution.
Malaba’s term of office was extended only days after president Mnangagwa signed into law the Constitutional Amendment Bill No. 2 which among other things gives the president authority to make key judicial appointments.
The Bill faced resistance from stakeholders who viewed it as a slap in the face of democracy since the masses had voted for the 2013 Constitution.
They viewed it as a way to ensure that Mnangagwa extends Malaba’s term of office beyond the 15th of May 2021 when he was supposed to retire as he had reached 70 years.
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Source – Pindula News
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