DEPUTY Chief Justice Luke Malaba has reportedly been appointed as the new Chief Justice (CJ), taking over from Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku who retired last month.
According to sources, Justice Malaba’s swearing in was scheduled for next week.
“(Justice) Malaba has already received his letter of appointment and what is only left is his swearing in,” a close government source said.
It was not yet clear if President Robert Mugabe had appointed Justice Malaba’s replacement as DCJ.
Contacted for comment, Presidential spokesperson George Charamba said he was not aware of the appointment as he was in Mutare and referred questions to Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa or Information minister Chris Mushohwe, who were both not reachable.
Justice Malaba, together with Justices Rita Makarau and Paddington Garwe, were shortlisted by the Judicial Service Commission to replace Justice Chidyausiku following interviews held in December last year.
The appointment of a new CJ has had twists and turns with a University of Zimbabwe law student, Romeo Zibani, first challenging the selection process. Mugabe later introduced Constitutional Amendment Bill (No1) which gives him power to appoint a new CJ, his or her deputy and the Judge President of the High Court.
Currently Parliament is gathering views on the amendment Bill, whose passing will now become academic for the current position.