By Staff Reporter
JUSTICE Minister and President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s ally, Ziyambi Ziyambi has issued a chilling threat against High Court judge Happius Zhou who, together with his colleagues, bravely reversed a decision by the national leader to extend Chief Justice Luke Malaba’s term beyond the retirement age of 70.
The challenge was filed by independent lawyers who argued the President violated the national constitution by extending Malaba’s term of office using the highly disputed Constitutional Amendment No.2.
Lawyers averred the incumbent could not benefit from the Amendment Act.
In a damning condemnation of the ruling Saturday (check full statement below), Ziyambi also questioned why lawyers who brought the action against Malaba’s appointment cited as respondents, all the judges except Judge President George Chiweshe who is believed to be an ally to Vice President Constantino Chiwenga.
Chiwenga is seen as harbouring Presidential ambitions at a time Mnangagwa has pulled all the stops to try and consolidate his rule.
Ziyambi said government was appealing against the ruling “first thing on Monday morning”.
He also claimed the judges who presided over the matter were up to sinister motives through withholding the full judgement that should allow government lawyers to scrutinise it in sufficient time to file an appeal.
Ziyambi also said there was an external hand that was manipulating some judges to deliver judgements that were against government.
“I must also mention and make it very clear that we are aware of the multi-lateral and foreign organisations who have poured in a lot of money through the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights to capture various state institutions and to destabilise the Government,” he said.
“The situation now in this country is that there is a risk of judicial capture where the Judiciary has been captured by certain elements both within and outside Zimbabwe who want to destabilise the second Republic.
“We are aware of certain members of the opposition, the MDC Alliance, who are being paid monthly allowances for causing turmoil in this country and for being arrested.
“The time may now have come to expose all these malcontents and economic saboteurs who are not sleeping until they bring down the second Republic.
“We are going to poke the enemy in the eye and confront it.”
Ziyambi hinted on a possible purge on a few judges within the national bench saying it was time to “transform” the country’s judiciary and root out hostile elements within the system.
Earlier, through his private Twitter handle, presidential spokesperson George Charamba wore his defiant self, declaring to social media users who were celebrating Malaba’s ouster that the unpopular judge would soon be back.