Harare – human Rights Lawyers have written to the registrar of the High Court that the Justice Minister has Scandalised the Court and he is in contempt of Court.
Minister of Justice Legal and Parliamentary affairs, Ziyambi Ziyambi had earlier requested his lawyers to put together their reasons for the appeal with the little information that they have regarding the ruling against Former Judge president, Luke Malaba.
In a statement issued after the ruling Ziyambi said he was shocked with the matter being handled at night, of which Malaba ceased to be the Chief Justice midnight of the same day May 15 2121.
“We are further alarmed that these proceedings went on through the night up to midnight. This is a typical case of a night court, consisting of night judges and night lawyers.
“This is a typical case of judicial overreach and as Government, we are not going to accept that. This is clear violation of the doctrine of separation of powers- the Judiciary should know where it ends. It is not the big brother of the other two arms of the State which it wants to purport to be. It is just another arm of the State” added Ziyambi.
However legal experts said the response by the Minister is contrary to the joyous mood he was following the sailing through of the ammendment bill number 2 which created another extra challenge that yielded these current results.
Malaba had been due to retire on Saturday when he turns 70, but President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Zanu PF party used its majority in parliament to amend the constitution, allowing the president to extend the retirement age of senior judges to 75 years if they proved they were in good health.
“We are now going to poke the enemy in the eye and confront it, said Ziyambi.
The Judicail Service Commission has been found wanting and raised various issues in direct support of the minister arguing that lawyers for Musa Kika, who brought the challenge, should have sought leave to sue judges from court before making them respondents.
The JSC also argues that the matter was not urgent.
Without providing names, Ziyambi also said a certain group of judges always passed judgments that sought to tarnish the image of the government.
Over the last year there has been an increase in the arrest and prosecution of opposition activists and majority of citizens allege a judicial capture in Zimbabwe probably more than that seen during the leadership of authoritarian predecessor Robert Mugabe.
In the past hours reports have been circulating on social media on the arrest of the three judges who made the ruling against Former Justice, Luke Malaba and 14 judges threatening to resign if Malais reinstated.
Zimbabwe Human Rights Lawyers told Post On Sunday that they have been threatened, and took the minister’s word of recieving funding from the European Union and USAID as hogwash.
After the ruling, Deputy Chief Justice, Elizabeth Gwaunza is the Acting Judge president, for the first time in the history of Zimbabwe to have a female occupying that position.