Zimbabwe: Bid To Give President Mugabe More Power Over Chief Justice


Zimbabwe’s government is proposing an amendment to the constitution to give the president the sole power to appoint the chief justice.

The opposition has opposed the move, saying it will undermine the judiciary’s independence.

This is the first amendment to be proposed since Zimbabwe adopted a new constitution in  2013, which whittled down the powers of the president.

The constitution was adopted following intense talks between the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and the ruling Zanu-PF party.

Currently the Judicial Services Commission, made up mostly of senior judges and lawyers, conducts public interviews of potential candidates for the post of chief justice. It then submits names to the president who then makes a selection.

President Robert Mugabe, 92, has been in power since 1980.

Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is also the Justice Minister, has proposed the amendment.

He is seen as a potential successor to Mr Mugabe.

Source: BBC Africa

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