Government says no constitutional crisis as lawyers subpoena Malaba documents

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On Thursday, the government insisted that there was no constitutional crisis in Zimbabwe since human rights lawyers stirred up the heat on the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), subpoenaing documents on the annulled five-year extension of Luke Malaba’s tenure as Chief Justice.

When petitioners who argued successfully in the High Court against Malaba’s stay past his retirement at age 70, a legal conundrum was created citing all judges of the Constitutional and Supreme Courts as respondents, effectively precluding them from involvement in the appeal process.

While calling it a tactical gambit by the applicants, pundits revealed a constitutional crisis after the government filed a Supreme Court appeal, stating the fact that the court’s justices were cited, which meant that there was no one under the current legal framework to hear the matter.

But justice secretary Virginia Mabiza dismissed the matter telling reporters in Harare that “what we are seeing is not a constitutional crisis, parties have brought their matter before the courts.”

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