BY CHARLES LAITON
The challenge on the appointment of Prosecutor General (PG) Kumbirai Hodzi, which was set to commence yesterday at the Constitutional Court (ConCourt), failed to materialise after it emerged that the court papers filed by the applicant, Harare lawyer Joshua Chirambwe, were not paginated.
Chirambwe’s lawyer, Advocate Thabani Mpofu told the ConCourt bench headed by Justice Paddington Garwe that his client’s papers had not been well-presented, meaning that the matter could not proceed.
In the application, President Emmerson Mnangagwa, the Judicial Services Commission (JSC), Chief Justice Luke Malaba, Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi and Hodzi are cited as respondents.
In his founding affidavit, Chirambwe claims Hodzi is not fit for the top prosecutorial job, adding that his appointment, which was marred by controversy, must, therefore, be declared null and void. He claims Hodzi dismally failed during interviews that were conducted to fill the post that had been left vacant after Advocate Ray Goba was fired.
“The interviews were conducted in full public glare and the fact that fifth respondent (Hodzi) had a torrid time is known to all who cared to follow that process. To me, it was clear that he had shown that he was clearly disqualified from being appointed to the position of Prosecutor-General. It was there for all to see. The commissioners scored him so badly (that) at the end of the day, he sat at the bottom of the pile. He was clearly and effectively out of the reckoning,” Chirambwe said.
“For the good of my country, I celebrated. I felt so good that the Constitution had come up with this transparent process. The President could not, in terms of the Constitution, appoint a person ill-suited for the job simply because he liked him. I thought we had turned a corner. I legitimately expected that at the end of it all, cream would rise to the top and merit rewarded.”
Hodzi was one of the several candidates who took part in public interviews last year when the country did not have a substantive PG following the resignation of Goba.
Some of the candidates who participated in the interviews were Calvin Mantsebo, Tinomudaishe Chinyoka, Misheck Hogwe, Jessie Majome, Justice Maphios Cheda, Wendy Chingeya, Florence Ziyambi, Edios Marondedza and Noria Mashumba with Mantsebo, Chinyoka and Hogwe, emerging the top three.