The High Court on Thursday has ruled that former Chief Justice, Luke Malaba, was not in contempt of court when he resumed work. He resumed work pending a ruling in a case in which lawyers challenged the extension of his term of office because he has attained the age of 70.
Malaba resumed work after the government had appealed the ruling that nullified the extension of his tenure.
Top lawyers Beatrice Mtetwa and Eric Matinenga have approached the Constitutional court in a fresh bid to have aged Judge 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.
Critics accuse Mnangagwa who introduced a constitutional amendment to raise retirement of Supreme court Judges to 75 from 70 of seeking to influence the judiciary, a charge he denies. The ruling means Malaba can be back in the office until a ruling on the appeal has been given.