Source: Appointment victory for constitutionalism: Malaba – NewsDay Zimbabwe April 7, 2017
President Robert Mugabe yesterday swore in Justice Luke Malaba as the new Chief Justice, taking over from Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, who retired in February.
BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Speaking after the swearing-in ceremony at State House, Chief Justice Malaba said his appointment was a victory for constitutionalism before committing to ensure that justice was delivered to all without fear or favour and timeously.
“We strongly believe in the rule of law and, as such, to me, is a day we have demonstrated as a country not only that we respect the processes by which our judiciary is appointed to the office, we also respect the wishes of the people,” he said.
The new Chief Justice spoke about having the confidence of the people in the judiciary as key to his term of office and warned his peers that judiciary independence does not mean being lazy and failing to deliver justice timeously.
“I see my task as being to uphold the law to act in terms of the Constitution as set out for us as a court. I look forward to a term of office which, to many, may appear short, but to me is sufficient to anybody with a clear vision to execute his or her vision,” Chief Justice Malaba said.
“My vision at the moment is that I would want to see a judiciary that functions according to the purposes for which it is established as the third organ of the State. It is not just enough to talk about upholding the independence of the judiciary when that independence is not used properly, independence means responsibility.”
Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is in charge of the Justice ministry, said Chief Justice Malaba was “a solid jurist”.
“After some deliberations, the President settled for Justice Malaba who is a solid jurist in his own right and we are very happy and confident that he is going to discharge his mandate and responsibility as the third arm of the State honourably,” he said.
The elevation of Justice Malaba left the position of Deputy Chief Justice vacant, which Mnangagwa said would have to be advertised and public interviews held for the post to be filled.