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Malaba crisis: Kika's lawyers ditches the case?

by Staff reporter
15 Jul 2021 at 16:47hrs | Views
Lawyers for rights lawyer Musa Kika notify Constitutional Court they will not file papers or appear in court Friday after judges refused to recuse in challenge brought by Zanu-PF supporter Marx Mapungu to High Court ruling that Chief Justice Malaba ceased to be a judge.

The battle to ensure Chief Justice Luke Malaba stays in office intensified yesterday, with top government officials describing the ongoing Constitutional Court (ConCourt) challenge as "lawfare."

ConCourt judges started hearing an application by Zanu-PF activist Marx Mupungu, who wants a May High Court ruling that said Malaba ceased to be Chief Justice after reaching the previous retirement threshold of 70 years reversed.

The ConCourt dismissed the application by Zimbabwe Lawyers of Human Rights NGO Forum executive director Musa Kika to have judges recuse themselves from the matter.

The ConCourt judges, led by Deputy Chief Justice Elizabeth Gwaunza, did not give reasons for the dismissal.

Advocate Thembinkosi Magwaliba, who was representing the judges after they were cited as respondents, said reasons would be given later in the full judgment.

Following the dismissal of Kika's application, Mupungu's case in which he is seeking non-confirmation of the High Court ruling, which is against Malaba's extended tenure, will now be heard on Friday.

Kika had cited 18 judges in his latest application seeking their recusal from presiding over the matter.

The same judges were also cited as respondents in his first application in which he challenged the extension of Malaba's tenure.

In his application, Kika argued that the High Court ruling handed down on May 15, 2021 by a threemember panel affected the same judges who were set to make a determination on Mupungu's application at the ConCourt.

Kika, represented by lawyer Eric Matinenga, filed his application a day before Mupungu's case was set to be heard.

But Malaba's lawyer, Magwaliba, argued that Kika cited all the judges of the ConCourt in bad faith to disable the court and pleaded with the court to dismiss the application.

Source - online
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