BY MOSES MATENGA
FORMER Chief Justice Luke Malaba, whose term of office expired on May 15 when he turned 70, and was supposed to retire, reportedly turned up for duty yesterday in defiance of a court order which forbids him from holding office until his matter has been finalised by the courts of law.
This was also despite that the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has appointed Elizabeth Gwaunza acting Chief Justice until Malaba’s matter has been finalised in court.
Government has, meanwhile, extended his term by five years and also appealed a court ruling which said his tenure had lapsed.
Impeccable sources yesterday confirmed that Malaba reported for duty at his Constitutional Court offices and was “barking instructions to staff as usual”.
But JSC secretary Walter Chikwana said he was not aware that Malaba had reported for duty.
“I was not at work today, but you check that issue with me tomorrow (today),” he said.
But lawyers, who spoke to NewsDay on condition of anonymity, said if, indeed, Malaba had reported for duty yesterday, he was in contempt of court.
They said his action may be interpreted as interference and intimidation of judges who will be dealing with his Constitutional Court issue.
Last week, three High Court judges Justices Happias Zhou, Edith Mushore and Jester Charewa ruled that President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s extension of Malaba’s term following the enactment of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No 2) Act was a legal nullity.
They ruled that the current judges could not be beneficiaries to such constitutional amendments.
The judgment angered Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, who immediately issued a diatribe, accusing the judges of being captured by hostile foreign forces.
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