Zimbabwe’s Chief Justice, Luke Malaba, whose extended term of office was nullified recently by the High Court, is back at work.
According to the state-controlled Herald newspaper, Malaba returned to work after a notice to appeal against the High Court decision was filed at the Supreme Court by the government last Monday.
The newspaper quoted Judicial Service Commission secretary, Walter Chikwanha, as saying Malaba is currently executing his judicial functions. “Chief Justice Malaba has always been at work since the day the government filed a notice of appeal against the decision of the High Court. It’s by operation of the law. Once the appeal was filed the order of the High Court was in effect suspended until the determination of the appeal.”
Justices Justices Happias Zhou, Edith Mushore and Jester Charewa declared as null and void Malaba’s extended five-year term of office.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa extended Malaba’s term of office as per some provisions of the Zimbabwe Constitution Amendment (Number 2) Act, which was recently passed into law.
The Act stipulates that judges have the option to serve until the age of 75 as long as they are mentally and physically fit.
Musa Kika of the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, Young Lawyers’ Association of Zimbabwe, a war veteran and others, filed a High Court application challenging the extension of Malaba’s term of office.
They are now demanding minutes of meetings held by the president, the Judicial Service Commission and other relevant authorities before Malaba’s term of office was extended. They are also demanding to see Malaba’s application letter seeking an extended term.