Tendai Kamhungira 24 February 2017
HARARE – The University of Zimbabwe student, Romeo Zibani, who recently
lost a bid to stop the conducting of interviews to replace Chief Justice
Godfrey Chidyausiku, has filed another court application challenging the
composition of the bench that dismissed his request.
The 25-year-old lost the application after judges ruled that an intention
to amend a law provision does not nullify the Constitution.
The Judicial Service Commission had filed an appeal challenging High Court
judge Charles Hungwe’s ruling in which he barred the holding of the
However, through his lawyers – Venturas and Samkange Legal Practitioners –
Zibani filed a Constitutional Court application, arguing that allowing
retired Supreme Court judge Vernanda Ziyambi to be part of the bench that
presided over the matter was unconstitutional.
Ziyambi was part of the bench that heard the matter together with Ben
Hlatshwayo and Bharat Patel.
In the application, Zibani cited President Robert Mugabe, Justice minister
Emerson Mnangagwa, Chidyausiku and Ziyambi as respondents.
“I submit that the 4th respondent (Ziyambi) was not legible for the
appointment, having reached the age of seventy (70) years and having
retired in 2016. Her appointment was therefore unconstitutional.
“The appointment is in contravention of Section 186 (2) which reads as
follows; judges of the Supreme Court, the High Court and any other judges
hold office from the date of their assumption of office until they reach
the age of seventy years, when they must retire,” Zibani said, adding that
the matter was un-procedurally set down.
He added: “I submit that when the Supreme Court sat to hear my case on the
February 13, 2017, it was not properly constituted as there were only two
judges qualified to hear the case.
“The sitting did not constitute a Supreme Court bench as is required by
law and therefore the judgment by that court is a nullity,” he said.