- The High Court has ruled that former Chief Justice, Luke Malaba, was not in contempt of court when he resumed work pending a ruling in a case in which lawyers challenged the extension of his term of office.
Malaba resumed work after the government had appealed the ruling that nullified the extension of his tenure. Read the operative part of the judgment by Justice Amy Tsanga:
_The application for civil imprisonment for the first respondent (Malaba) contempt of court is dismissed._
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Two judges Justices, Amy Tsanga and Slyvia Chirawu-Mugomba, heard the matter after Justice Webster Chinamora recused himself from the original three-judge bench citing professional reasons.
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Meanwhile, top lawyers, Beatrice Mtetwa and Eric Matinenga have approached the Constitutional court in a fresh bid to have Malaba thrown out of the office.
They argue that both Constitutional Amendment Act No. 1 of 2017 and Constitutional Amendment Act No. 2 of 2021, the basis upon which Malaba’s term was extended, are unconstitutional and, therefore, are null and void.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa extended Malaba’s term of office by an additional five-year beyond his retirement age, a move that was challenged and won by Musa Kika at the High Court on May 15.
After the government had appealed the ruling, Malaba quickly returned to work prompting Musa Kika and the Young Lawyers Association of Zimbabwe to press contempt of court charges saying Malaba had failed to honour the judgment.
The ruling means Malaba can be back in the office until a ruling on the appeal has been given.
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