By Mary Taruvinga
THE Constitutional Court (ConCourt) Wednesday dismissed an application by top human rights lawyer, Musa Kika, seeking the recusal of judges set to hear the case in which embattled Chief Justice Luke Malaba’s continued stay in office is being challenged.
Kika, who is also the Human Rights NGO Forum director had filed an application seeking the recusal of judges set to preside over a case where a Zanu PF activist, Marx Mupungu wants the Constitutional Court to overturn a High Court ruling on Malaba’s extension of term of office.
Last May, President Emmerson Mnangagwa through a freshly minted, but controversial Amendment No.2 Act extended Malaba’s term of office by another five years.
However, the extension was ruled illegal by three High Court judges but Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi and Attorney-General Prince Machaya appealed against the ruling at the Supreme Court.
The matter is still pending.
However, Wednesday, the Constitutional Court bench, chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Elizabeth Gwaunza threw out Kika’s application, and the reasons for dismissal will be made available in their full judgment.
“The application for recusal was dismissed. The reasons will be supplied as part of the main judgment,” Thembinkosi Magwaliba, who was representing the judges cited as respondents in the application, said.
Lovemore Madhuku, representing Mupunga told journalists the application brought to court by Mupungu will now be heard at the ConCourt Friday before the same judges.
“Now we will be going into the merits of the main application,” he said.
On May 15 this year, President Emmerson Mnangagwa extended Malaba’s term relying on a controversial constitutional amendment that extended the retirement age for judges to 75.
However, the matter was successfully challenged by Kika as well as the young lawyers and war veteran, Fredrick Matanda.
In his application, Kika had cited that 18 judges from the ConCourt and Supreme Court should recusal themselves from hearing Mupungu’s application.
The same judges are also cited as respondents in Kika’s first application before the Supreme Court.