Farirai Machivenyika Senior Reporter—
Zimbabwe has a very strong Judiciary and respects the rule of
law and the wishes of the people, newly-installed Chief Justice
Luke Malaba said soon after being sworn-in by President Mugabe
at State House in Harare yesterday. Speaking to journalists
after the ceremony, the new Chief Justice said his task was to
uphold the law according to the Constitution. He becomes the third black Zimbabwean to hold the
post since the country attained independence in 1980.
“Let me say that Zimbabwe has a very strong Judiciary and that
has been demonstrated today by the appointment,” he said. “We
strongly believe in the rule of law and as such, to me it’s a
day when we have demonstrated as a country that not only do we
respect the processes by which our Judiciary is appointed to
office, we also respect the wishes of the people.
Watch video here………..
“It is in this regard that I would want to thank the people of
Zimbabwe who, through the President who is the appointing
authority, saw it fit to appoint me the responsibility of
executing the functions of the Chief Justice of the Republic.”
The swearing-in ceremony was attended by Vice Presidents
Emmerson Mnangagwa and Phelekezela Mphoko, members of the
Judiciary, senior Government officials and members of Chief
Justice Malaba’s family.
President Mugabe appointed Chief Justice Malaba in terms of the
“Sub-section (1) of Section 180 of the Constitution provides
that the Chief Justice must be appointed by the President and
where as Sub Section 2 of Section 180 provides that the Chief
Justice is appointed from a list of three nominees submitted by
the Judicial Service Commission after conducting public
interviews and where as having considered the list of three
nominees submitted by the JSC it has been seen fit and proper
to appoint Luke Malaba as the Chief Justice of Zimbabwe,”
Watch video here……..
Chief Justice Malaba then took his oath in terms of sub-section
(1) of Section 185 of the Constitution. He said he would
work to ensure fulfilment of people’s aspirations.
“I have no hesitation at all in promising that I see this
confidence as a test on my part to fulfil the expectations of
the people and those expectations can only be described in
terms of the values and aspirations of our society which are
contained in the Constitution and the laws of the country,”
said Chief Justice Malaba.
“So, I see my task as being to uphold the law to act in terms
of the Constitution.”
Chief Justice Malaba said it was not enough to talk of the
independence of the judiciary when that independence was
improperly used. “Independence means responsibility,” he
said. “It is only when the judiciary itself accepts that it’s
not independent in order not to work, that it would be able to
gain the confidence of the people.
“Without the confidence of the public, you don’t talk about the
administration of justice and the confidence of the public
means doing what you are supposed to do timeously.
“We look forward to a programme that ensures the system
operates efficiently and by efficiency, we mean thorough
preparedness and quick delivery of justice so that people can
know that when you go to the courts, you get what you are
getting there for. Whether you are winner or loser that is not
Chief Justice Malaba said the right of equality before the law
was only possible if there was equal access to the justice
“Everybody is equal before the law and everybody has a right to
protection under the law,” he said. “We cannot talk about those
rights if we delay in the delivery of justice and you can see
this is going to be my focus.
“We do hope that we will receive support from all sectors of
our societies, including the media. In that regard, we are
together. The Press is the vanguard of our people. It is
through the Press that decisions of the courts are known.”
Vice President Mnangagwa, who oversees the Justice, Legal and
Parliamentary Affairs Ministry, described Chief Justice Malaba
as a sound jurist.
“The President settled on 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.
Judicial Service Commission acting secretary and Supreme Court
Judge, Justice Rita Makarau, welcomed the appointment of Chief
Justice Malaba. “As the JSC, we stand ready to work with
him,” she said. “He has been a part of us, as you know, as
Deputy Chief Justice. He was part of the JSC structure, he was
the deputy chairman of the JSC.
“We have worked with him before. We stand ready to support him
in his plans. We stand ready to support his vision, whatever
vision he might have for the JSC and we are actually happy that
we have a substantive Chief Justice for Zimbabwe.”
Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Zimbabwe,
Professor Lovemore Madhuku, described Chief Justice Malaba as
very able. “He is very able, very highly qualified,” he
said. “There is no reason why people should not accept that
which is good.”
Justice Malaba is the third black Zimbabwean to be appointed
Chief Justice after Justices Enoch Dumbutshena and Godfrey
Chidyausiku, but is the sixth overall since Zimbabwe attained