Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

CJ case takes new twist

By Tendai Kamhungira

The University of Zimbabwe student, Romeo Zibani, who recently lost a bid to stop the conducting of interviews to replace Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, has filed another court application challenging the composition of the bench that dismissed his request.

The 25-year-old lost the application after judges ruled that an intention to amend a law provision does not nullify the Constitution.

The Judicial Service Commission had filed an appeal challenging High Court judge Charles Hungwe’s ruling in which he barred the holding of the interviews.

However, through his lawyers — Venturas and Samkange Legal Practitioners — Zibani filed a Constitutional Court application, arguing that allowing retired Supreme Court judge Vernanda Ziyambi to be part of the bench that presided over the matter was unconstitutional.

Ziyambi was part of the bench that heard the matter together with Ben Hlatshwayo and Bharat Patel.

In the application, Zibani cited President Robert Mugabe, Justice minister Emerson Mnangagwa, Chidyausiku and Ziyambi as respondents.

“I submit that the 4th respondent (Ziyambi) was not legible for the appointment, having reached the age of seventy (70) years and having retired in 2016. Her appointment was therefore unconstitutional.

“The appointment is in contravention of Section 186 (2) which reads as follows; judges of the Supreme Court, the High Court and any other judges hold office from the date of their assumption of office until they reach the age of seventy years, when they must retire,” Zibani said, adding that the matter was un-procedurally set down.

He added: “I submit that when the Supreme Court sat to hear my case on the February  13, 2017, it was not properly constituted as there were only two judges qualified to hear the case.

“The sitting did not constitute a Supreme Court bench as is required by law and therefore the judgment by that court is a nullity,” he said. Daily News