– An injury to one is an injury to all as opposition lawyers try to pressure the president to dismiss judges.
BY DR MASIMBA MAVAZA | The opposition CCC and civic organizations, opposing the government of ED MNANGAGWA and ZANU PF, have hatched a plan to replace judges on the bench with those compliant to opposition demands. Under intense pressure from Lawfare lawyers, including Beatrice Sibale Mtetwa and Advocate Thabani Mhofu Mpofu, the Chief Justice and JSC are now perceived as endorsing the opposition’s efforts to harass and dismiss judges.
The number of judges fired in the new dispensation exceeds those fired during Mugabe’s 37-year rule. The strategy aims to tarnish ED’s reputation with the judiciary. Questions arise about Justice Chinamhora’s status as the focal point for Thabani and Beatrice’s actions.
Critics argue that the Chief Justice, embroiled in sexual abuse scandals, has failed to support his judges and has become a mouthpiece for the opposition. Allegations against Justice Chinamhora lack substance, creating doubt about a hidden conflict between the CJ and Chinamhora.
In February, the JSC recommended tribunals to investigate Justices Webster Chinamora and Martin Makonese, seemingly based on their judgments favoring the government. Lawfare architects, urging the president to appoint a tribunal, aim to remove judges and align them with the opposition.
Despite allegations, the President cannot be blackmailed into setting a tribunal; it is his discretion. The Chief Justice’s involvement raises concerns about protecting judges and maintaining judicial independence. Beatrice Mtetwa’s open letter adds to suspicions of an orchestrated agenda against the judiciary.
Chinamhora’s case is presented in the press, fueling speculation. The selective targeting of judges perceived as pro-government suggests a larger, darker agenda. The regime change narrative now focuses on judges, with the JSC seemingly complacent.
Section 187 of the constitution outlines the process to remove a judge. Pressure on the President to set a tribunal questions the separation of powers. Beatrice Mtetwa’s advocacy and the focus on Chinamora raise suspicions about hidden motives.
Chinamora’s perceived pro-government stance invites relentless pressure. In terms of Section 187, removal requires incapacity, incompetence, or misconduct—none alleged in Chinamhora’s case. The President’s resistance to external pressure demonstrates a commitment to upholding the constitution.
Chinamora’s pro-government rulings have made him a target. Attacks on judges involved in electoral court duties indicate a concerning pattern. The JSC’s failure to protect judges exposes them to public scrutiny. A CJ’s legacy should be judged by mentorship, not dismissals.
JSC’s inaction in protecting judges makes them vulnerable to attacks. Addressing these issues promptly is crucial to prevent further escalation against the judiciary and the government. Respect for judges and holding accountable those disrespecting the judiciary is paramount.