THE country must interrogate the best ways of appointing judges as there has been a worrying trend in the conduct of officers of the country’s apex courts that has resulted in the appointment of tribunals, senior Government officials said.
This comes as President Mnangagwa yesterday, as per the Constitution, appointed a three-member tribunal chaired by retired Justice Mafios Cheda to investigate the conduct of Justice Thompson Mabhikwa over an affair he had with a staffer at the Bulawayo High Court.
It also comes as another tribunal led by retired Judge Justice Simbi Mubako yesterday submitted its report on the fitness to hold office of suspended High Court judge, Justice Erica Ndewere.
After the swearing-in of the Justice Cheda led tribunal that includes Harare lawyer Philippa Philips and Midlands State University law lecturer Mr Chaka Mashoko, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Hon Ziyambi said time had come to interrogate the appointment of judges to the High Court.
He said while in the past the public was not aware of their rights and procedures of appeal, the Second Republic, with its commitment to the rule of law and constitutionalism, is providing a platform for people to air their grievances against judges.
“You must also appreciate that we changed the way that judges are appointed. We now have interviews, and it’s now open, it could be because of that we are now getting into the judiciary some of the officers perhaps who should not be there.
“Performance during interviews does not translate into performance at work. An interview is one of the measures that we use to get a person into office. Perhaps we need to interrogate and look at what we used to have and what we have now, what is the best criteria that we can use to select judges,” said Hon Ziyambi.