Zimbabwe’s Mnangagwa appoints five Constitutional judges




Justice Paddington Garwe

PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa Wednesday appointed five new Constitutional Court judges to fill in the vacant posts since May 2020.

The appointed new ConCourt judges are; Paddington Garwe, Rita Makarau, Anne-Marie Gowora, Bharat Patel, and Ben Hlatshwayo and are expected to be sworn in by Acting Chief Justice Elizabeth Gwaunza this Thursday.

Sources at the Judicial Services Commission (JSC), speaking on condition of anonymity, confirmed the new appointments.

The promoted judges took part in public interviews conducted by the JSC last September.

The new vacancies arose by the expiry of the temporary transitional constitutional provisions under which Supreme Court judges also served as Constitutional Court judges for the first seven years of the court’s existence [Constitution, Sixth Schedule, paragraph 18(2)].

According to section 166 of the Constitution, the court must consist of the Chief Justice (CJ) and the Deputy Chief Justice as ex officio judges, plus “five other judges of the Constitutional Court”, i.e. persons appointed to the court by the President.

However, Mnangagwa snubbed appointing High Court judge, Justice Happias Zhou. Justice Zhou came third in last year’s public interviews for the ConCourt bench appointments.

Last weekend, Justice Zhou ruled former Chief Justice Luke Malaba’s five-year extension term of office by Mnangagwa as CJ was invalid.

Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi later rebuked Zhou and his bench for doing political bidding for the West and civic society organisations.

“We are going to poke the enemy in the eye and confront it,” the minister warned.