Zimbabwe court rules chief justice’s tenure extension is invalid

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Zimbabwe’s High Court dealt a blow to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, ruling his decision to extend Chief Justice Luke Malaba’s tenure by five years was invalid because it breached the constitution.

The Judicial Service Commission (JSC), which employs all judges, said the decision means that Deputy Chief Justice Elizabeth Gwaunza becomes acting chief justice pending the outcome of an appeal.

The outcome is a setback to Mnangagwa, whose ruling party also changed the constitution to allow him to appoint senior judges without going through a public vetting process.

The opposition has accused Mnangagwa of seeking to influence the judiciary, charges the president denies.

Lawyers had challenged a constitutional amendment that raised the retirement age of Constitutional and Supreme Court judges to 75 from 70, which allowed Mnangagwa to extend Malaba’s term of office by another five years.

The three High Court judges ruled that Malaba, who turned 70 on Saturday, had ceased being…



Source: Vanguard Newspaper