Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is also responsible for the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, has said new Chief Justice Luke Malaba will be sworn in at State House in Harare on Thursday.
VP Mnangagwa said Chief Justice-designate Malaba was appointed due to his outstanding work in the legal profession from the time he was lawyer, magistrate and Supreme Court judge.
He said he is confident that the Chief Justice-designate, who was appointed on March 27, will execute his new mandate in the same manner that he showed as a patriotic hard worker.
Justice Malaba was appointed Acting Chief Justice on March 1 this year and has served the judiciary for the past 35 years.
During the interviews held by the Judiciary Services Commission in December last year, the Chief Justice-designate scored 92 percent, while JSC acting secretary Justice Rita Makarau garnered 90 percent and Justice Paddington Garwe came out third with 52 percent.
Under section 180 of the country’s Constitution, the Chief Justice is appointed by the President from a list of three nominees selected by the JSC following advertisements and the holding of public interviews.
In mid-October last year, the JSC advertised the position extensively and invited the public, including the President if he wished to nominate qualified persons.
The names of Justices Malaba, Makarau and Garwe were submitted to President Mugabe for his consideration according to the country’s Constitution.
However, while the process was in motion, the High Court suspended public interviews for a new Chief Justice pending proposed amendments to the Constitution, but the JSC appealed the decision at the Supreme Court.
Justice Charles Hungwe had barred the interviews following a successful application by University of Zimbabwe law student Mr Romeo Taombera Zibani to do away with the interviews and grant President Mugabe unfettered discretion to appoint a Chief Justice of his choice.
However, the JSC appeal suspended the decision of the High Court. Chief Justice-designate has been a judge of the High Court, Supreme Court and Constitutional Court.
Chief Justice-designate Malaba handed down 50 judgements and 15 of them were reportable between 2013 and 2016.