Mnangagwa names 5 Constitutional Court judges as Malaba crisis grows

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On Wednesday, President Emmerson Mnangagwa named five judges to the Constitutional Court bench following months of inaction, in the process delivering a snub to Justice Happias Zhou, who ruled that the purported extension of Chief Justice Luke Malaba’s term past the retirement age of 70 was illegal last week.

Together with the Chief Justice and Deputy Chief Justice, Justices Ben Hlatshwayo, Paddington Garwe, Anne-Marie Goora, Rita Makarau and Bharat Patel will constitute the Constitutional Court.

The appointments – coming following a seismic May 15 judgement by three High Court judges including Zhou, which seems to have ended Malaba’s 40-year legal career – are identified as Mnangagwa’s attempt to deal with a constitutional crisis that has arisen.

The government appealed the High Court ruling at the Constitutional Court in a bid to keep Malaba on as Chief Justice – but legal experts reveal none of the judges can hear the appeal after they were all cited as respondents in the matter.

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