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What Zimbabwe MPs said about the Constitution Amendment Bill- Part Six

At this point in time, I would like to salute the judges of the Supreme Court, Justice Hlatshwayo, Justice Ziyambi and Justice Patel, who looked at the principles of the law and at the end of the day, upheld the appeal by the Judicial Services Commission.  However, my concern Hon. Chairman is that, we believe that the current provisions at least allow for meritocracy to prevail.  We are going to have a situation where the best person for the job is to be appointed.  What this amendment is going to do Hon. Chairman is to promote other issues whereby you can have issues of regionalism which may come into play when a person is going to be appointed.  Issues of mediocrity and nepotism may come into play.  The reason is very simple, because there will be no process, we are giving unfettered discretion on the hands of one person.

At least you can sanitise the Bill, Hon. Vice President by saying that, for those critical offices, at least try to restrict the choice to the existing judges because the current proposed amendment is naked.  It does not limit the choice to those who are already in the judicial service.  In respect of all the other judges as I have already alluded to, there is now a differentiation.  What it means is that you can pick somebody from the street as long as that person has been entitled to practice for 12 years even if the person is the most unsuitable in terms of competence.

  At least if you are going to say, for future appointments, let us have the choice restricted to those who have already gone through the process, who have already made it through interviews to become judges of the High Court.

THE DEPUTY CHAIRPERSON: Order Hon. Gonese, you can wrap up in just a minute.

HON. GONESE: Yes, I will just conclude in a minute.  So, I really ask my Hon. Vice President to at least consider amending the clause and say let that appointment of the three officers; the Chief Justice, the Deputy Chief Justice and the Judge President of the High Court come from people who are already judges of the High Court. At least that way, we will sleep better and we will feel more comfortable that at least the person who is going to be appointed is somebody who has gone through the process and has gone through the levels of competence that we require for that critical office. I thank you.

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