Chief Justice Luke Malaba has been criticized for rejecting an opposition petition seeking to end the 2018 election results for defrauding President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa has extended the term of Chief Justice Luke Malaba by five years following a change in the lawsuit he filed in court against lawyers.
Malaba has been criticized for rejecting a petition that sought to overturn the results of the 2018 presidential election on the basis of false Mnangagwa.
He was due to retire on Saturday at the age of 70, but Mnangagwa’s ruling ZANU-PF party used its parliamentary chamber to change the law, allowing the president to extend the retirement age of senior judges to 75 years if he proves to be in good health.
In a statement, the secretary-general said Mnangagwa had received a medical report from Malaba, which showed that the chief justice was “mentally and physically fit to continue in office.”
The election was contested
However, lawyers and critics say the change that allowed Malaba to continue working and empowered Mnangagwa to appoint Constitutional and Supreme Courts judges instead of questioning the public was a violation of the country’s constitution.
He argues that according to the law, boundary changes require a referendum and that its occupants do not benefit from the change. However, the government has changed its retirement status and has not violated the law.
The Supreme Court will hear Friday’s preliminary hearing before setting a date for a full hearing.
In court papers, the lawyers named the Minister of Justice, Malaba and all 16 Constitutional Judges and Supreme Courts as the respondents in the case. The judges disagree with the court’s decision.
Some legal experts say Zimbabwe could be in a state of crisis due to the economic crisis. If the Supreme Court rejects the case and the lawyers appeal, they must meet with the same judges named in their case.