Justice Ministry questions ‘Midnight Ruling’, plans appeal

by | May 16, 2021 | Crime & Courts, Local News, Politics | 0 comments

Brian Rungano Temba

The Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs (MoJLA) has expressed intention to contest the high court decision on the challenge mounted by Musa Kika and Young Lawyers Association of Zimbabwe disputing the constitutional amendment clause which allows for the extension of incumbent Chief Justice Malaba`s tenure.

In a statement, Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said his office respects the decision, but noted some anomalies in the way that the ruling was arrived at.
“With the greatest respect, we do not agree with the decision of the Court for so many reasons and for that reason, we have already instructed our lawyer to file an appeal first thing on Monday morning.

The Judges have not given us the judgment- they know that it is our right to file a notice of appeal, and we can only do that after we have been favoured with reasons of their decision, which they have not provided us with. Our conclusion is that they are therefore attempting to disable us from filing an appeal because they know that after we file an appeal, their decision will be suspended,” said Minister Ziyambi.

The Justice Ministry has instructed their lawyers to file an appeal tomorrow (Monday May 27).
They are arguing that the judiciary was in full conscience moonlighting the role of the executive and legislature.

MoJLPA said in their statement; “One issue that is worrying which even the most basic layman would want to know is that the Judges appear to base their decision on the interpretation that is given to section 328 (7) of the Constitution and the new section 186 (4) of the Constitution but surprisingly, the interpretation of the provisions was not before them, and secondly, the institutions that put into effect these provisions that is Parliament and the President were not cited in this application- how do they make such a decision without the benefit of having heard the side of Parliament and President who legislated these provisions? How does the Judiciary turn itself into an Executive and Legislature at the same time?”

This is a typical case of judicial overreach and as Government, MoJLA were not going to accept that.
“This is clear violation of the doctrine of separation of powers- the Judiciary should know where it ends. It is not the big brother of the other two arms of the State which it wants to purport to be. It is just another arm of the State,” Minister Ziyambi added.
Such overreach is alien to the normal business of an impartial justice system and the Justice Ministry called out the source of this external influence contaminating the Judiciary.

“I must also mention and make it very clear that we are aware of multi-lateral and foreign organisations who have poured in a lot of money through the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights to capture various state institutions and to destabilise the Government.
“The situation now in this country is that there is a risk of judicial capture where the Judiciary has been captured by certain elements both within and outside Zimbabwe who want to destabilise the second Republic,” read the statement.

MoJLPA said they are aware of members of the opposition, the MDC Alliance, who are being paid monthly allowances for causing turmoil in this country and for being arrested.
“The time may now have come to expose all these malcontents and economic saboteurs who are not sleeping until they bring down the second Republic.
Minister Ziyambi also questioned allocation of cases to judges hinting towards a bias in the system.
“We are also at a loss as to how Honourable Justice Zhou insisted on proceeding with the matter after we sought his recusal because he is clearly conflicted,” read the statement.

This is one of the many cases that could be the cataclysmic factor towards a chain reaction of Judiciary Transformation.
“The time has come also to look at the transformation of the Judiciary- have we really succeeded as a country to transform the Judiciary?

“You need to only look at various decisions that have been made by a certain group of Judges which are meant to tarnish the second Republic,” he wrote.