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Mnangagwa Says Independent Judiciary Vital to Zimbabwe Democracy

FILE: Zimbabwe's President Emmerson Mnangagwa is congratulated by the Chief Justice, Luke Malaba, after taking the oath of office during his presidential inauguration ceremony in Harare, Aug. 26, 2018.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa says Zimbabwe respects court outcomes as an independent judiciary plays a key role in the country’s democratization process.

In a tweet, three days after Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi attached the judiciary following a High Court ruling that blocked the extension of Chief Justice Luke Malaba’s extended term of office, Mnangagwa said his government respects court decisions.

“In Zimbabwe, the independence of our judiciary is vital to the survival of our democracy. When our courts speak, all Zimbabweans should listen. The Government or Zimbabwe wholeheartedly respects the independence of our judiciary.”

Mnangagwa made these remarks amid mounting pressure from the Law Society of Zimbabwe for Ziyambi to apologize of face the chop from the independent law body.

Ziyambi, who is a member of the Law society of Zimbabwe, claimed that the judiciary has been captured by foreigners, the opposition and nongovernmental organizations.

The organization wants Ziyambi to provide evidence that the judiciary has been captured.

The High Court on Saturday blocked Malaba’s extended term after he attained the mandatory 70-year age limit stipulated in Zimbabwe’s Constitution.

A constitutional amendment passed recently was designed to extend Malaba’s term by five years.

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