Chief Justice Malaba Orders To Judges’ To Submit Judgments For Approval

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By Staff Reporter

CHIEF JUSTICE Luke Malaba has ordered all High Court and Labour Court judges to submit their judgments for review to him or the Judge President for approval before a ruling is made.

In a memorandum to all judges dated 16 July 2020, the country’s top most judge said the directive followed concerns raised about the manner in which judgments are being handed down.

“It is hereby directed as follows: No judgment should be handed down when it is not yet ready to be distributed. Before a judgment or an order of the High Court or Labour Court is issued or handed down, it should be seen and approved by the head of court or division,” Malaba said in his memo.

He said once a judgment is made, it should not be withdrawn for any reason.

“Handing down a judgment is evidence that the judgment is ready for access by the parties and members of the public. All judgments handed down must be immediately accessible to the Registrar, litigants, and the public.

“Only Constitutional Court and the Supreme Court can issue such orders as they are courts of final jurisdiction. The only exception is when a judge is dealing with a point in limine. Such an order will be appropriate as it enables court to expeditiously finalise the main matter,” Malaba added.

The memo is addressed to the Deputy Chief Justice Elizabeth Gwaunza, and copied to Justice Antonia Guvava, of the Supreme Court, Judge President George Chiweshe, Justice Gladys Mhuri, a senior judge at the Labour Court, and judge of the administrative court, Herbert Mandeya.

Early this year, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) chairperson, Loice Matanda-Moyo said her commission was investigating a number of judges for graft and arrests would be expected soon.

However, no arrests have been made.