Judgment In CJ Malaba’s Office Term Extension Case Set For Saturday

The High Court will this Saturday deliver its ruling in a matter in which the Young Lawyers Association of Zimbabwe (YLAZ) are challenging President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s extension of Chief Justice Malaba’s term of office.

YLAZ are also challenging the legality of the Zimbabwe Constitution Amendment Act (Number 2).

Frederick Mutanda, a liberation war veteran, filed an urgent chamber application at Harare High Court seeking an order to stop Chief Justice Luke Malaba from continuing as the head of the Constitutional Court.

High Court Judges Justice Jester Charewa, Justice Happias Zhou and Justice Edith Mushore are presiding over the case.

The court adjourned for a couple of hours as Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi and the Judicial Service Commission attempted to stop the judges, particularly Zhou, from handling the case.

In the application filed by Honey & Blanckenberg Legal Practitioners, YLAZ and Mutanda argued that Chief Justice Malaba ought not to benefit from the term extension provisions as introduced by the amendment of the Constitution since he has served 15 years as a Judge of the Constitutional Court.

YLAZ and Mutanda want the High Court to declare that in failing to activate the provisions of section 180 of the Constitution diligently and without delay, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) violated section 324 of the Constitution.

They also want Chief Justice Malaba not to benefit from the term limit extension as introduced by an amendment of section 186 of the Constitution and for him to vacate office as the chief justice at midnight on May 15, 2021.

In the alternative, YLAZ and Mutanda want section 14 of Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No.2) Act, 2021, to be declared invalid for violating section 56(3) of the Constitution and be struck down.

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