Prominent human rights lawyers Tendai Biti and Thabani Mpofu have said they are prepared to die defending the Zimbabwean constitution.
They made the remarks on Monday while addressing reporters following a vitriolic attack on the judiciary by Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Ziyambi Ziyambi on Sunday.
The Minister said the judiciary was captured by foreign elements after three High Court judges, Justices Happias Zhou, Edith Mushore and Jester Charewa nullified the extension of former Chief Justice Luke Malaba’s term of office.
In response, Biti who is also the Vice President in the opposition MDC Alliance led by Nelson Chamisa said:
_We are not pursuing any political agenda. We want to protect the Constitution of the country which was approved by 93% of Zimbabweans in a referendum. We are prepared to die for that Constitution._
_We have thought these things through. We know what may or what may not happen. We are prepared to fight, not only in defence of our consultant but the Constitution of Zimbabwe, judicial independence and democracy._
Meanwhile, the government has since appealed against the High Court ruling.
The appeal comes after Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) and the Young Lawyers Association of Zimbabwe (YLAZ) who roped in Biti and Mpofu have since announced that they will oppose any appeal against the High Court ruling.
While some legal experts say it is difficult and embarrassing for the government to pursue the case, some argue that the High Court made errors adding that the Supreme Court was likely to overturn the ruling in favour of the government.
Some argue that “the judiciary is captured” remarks by Ziyambi were meant to intimidate judges to give the government a ruling it wants.
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