By A Correspondent- The Judicial Service Commission has started interviews of Judges to fill nine vacant positions of High Court judges.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa could have promoted magistrates he wanted to fill in the nine judges’ positions but is restricted by the constitution, which demands that the judges go through public interviews.
At least 35 candidates have been shortlisted for the interviews, which were supposed to be held last month, but were deferred as a Covid-19 containment measure.
While a recent amendment to the constitution allows the promotion of judges from the High Court to the Supreme and Constitutional Courts without further public interviews, these are still required for entry to the bench.
After the interviews and other checks, the JSC submits its recommended list to the President, who may assent to the names or ask the JSC to submit a fresh set of names.
Under the constitution, a person is qualified for appointment as a judge of the High Court if they are at least 40 years old and been qualified for a minimum of 10 years as a legal practitioner in Zimbabwe.
In a statement last week, the JSC said the interviews would be held in strict Covid-19 control regulations.
“To ensure compliance with the requirement to hold the interviews in public the proceedings will be streamed live on Judicial Service Commission social media platforms (Twitter and Facebook). The Judicial Service Commission has engaged the national broadcaster, the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation, to have the interview proceedings beamed live.”
Last month, the commission sought nominations from the public and President in terms of the constitution.
The 35 nominees are regional magistrates, the top end of the magistrates’ courts, or experienced lawyers.