Chief Justice Luke Malaba refuted allegations that the country’s judiciary has been captured and is no longer serving the interests of justice but partisan interests.
Speaking to NewZimbabwe.com on the sidelines of the swearing-in ceremony of new five High Court Judges in Harare on Wednesday, Malaba CJ stated that those who criticise the judiciary should be wary of undermining its independence. He said:
They should bear in mind and reflect the dangers of their criticism. There is a risk of their utterances undermining that independence of the judiciary.
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It is just their subjective view. Critics criticise because the outcome will not be in their own interests.
Even a part appearing before a judge, a party in litigation can influence judiciary independence.
The country’s judiciary has been criticised from several quarters moreso by the opposition MDC party.
For instance, the handling of a case involving the controversial Chief Felix Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni of Ntabazinduna has raised questions.
The traditional leader was recently sentenced to 18 months in jail by a magistrate (he has since appealed against the sentence) while his co-accused were ordered to perform community service.
Malaba CJ said the aggrieved parties should provide evidence to support their claims that the judiciary is captured.
Meanwhile, the five judges who were sworn in are Evangelista Kabasa, Christopher Dube Banda, Paul Siyabona Msithu, Sunsley Zisengwe and Webster Chinamhora.