Mugabe must stop capture of judiciary

Outgoing Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku’s revelations that a dubious executive order was issued stopping the process to appoint his successor has thrown the cats among the pigeons and there is need for authorities to get to the bottom of this very serious matter.

Source: Mugabe must stop capture of judiciary – NewsDay Zimbabwe January 17, 2017

Comment: NewsDay Editor

For starters, the executive had no role trying to stop the lawful appointment process of a Chief Justice, but that is a matter for another day.

Chief Justice Chidyausiku’s revelations reveal that there is a sinister ploy working behind the scenes trying to influence the appointment of judges and, dare we say, judgments.

What else could have been the motivation for a member of the executive to write to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) stopping a lawful process and using a fake letter for that matter?

While the ballyhoo over the appointment of Chief Justice Chidyausiku’s successor has largely been mired in factional talk, the revelations that a member of the executive wrote to JSC is quite worrying and goes way beyond Zanu PF’s narrow factional politics and pierces straight through the soul of the nation’s founding principles.

Chief Justice Chidyausiku should have mentioned who wrote the so-called letter, but even without being named, whoever that person is should hand in their resignation and not wait to be fired.

If that person does not resign, then President Robert Mugabe has an easy task ahead of him, when he returns from his leave, of firing that person.

Surely, this is the easiest task Mugabe will have to do this year.

Besides the obvious curious nature of the letter to the judiciary, the question is: How many such directives and illegalities have been done in Mugabe’s name without the President being in the loop?

This is quite disturbing and Mugabe has to act quickly, before more serious damage is done.

This also calls into question the whole legal drama that preceded the Chief Justice interviews late last year, as to who was orchestrating it and to what end.

Zimbabwe’s judiciary does not have much of a reputation, but in recent years they have made some very profound judgments, while at the same time the Constitution has given hope that we are entering a new era, where the rule of law is respected.

It is, thus, very surprising that someone or some people are that duplicitous to originate a fake letter to usurp the judiciary.

This is abhorrent and should be condemned in the strongest terms.

Chief Justice Chidyausiku’s revelations are instructive, as he saw potential for clashes over the appointment of a new Chief Justice and told the executive in March 2016 of this and if they wanted to act, why did they not act then?

There is need for Mugabe to act now to save the judiciary from this obvious capture — Zimbabwe’s future rests on it.