Court overrules dismissal of chief prosecutor
Publish date: 04 December 2017
Issue Number: 754
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Advocate Ray Hemington Goba remains Zimbabwe’s Prosecutor-General and his removal from office was done unlawfully, the High Court has ruled. The Herald reports that High Court Judge Priscilla Chigumba provisionally set aside Government Gazette Extraordinary Notice 642/2017 that rescinded Goba’s appointment in a challenge filed by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights. The judge interdicted the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) from conducting fresh public interviews to select Goba's replacement. ‘The third respondent (Goba) shall remain an appointed Prosecutor-General until the final determination of the matter. Pending the determination of the matter and final pronouncement on the validity or otherwise of the Government Gazette Extraordinary 642 /2017, the first and second respondents (former President Mugabe and JSC) be and are hereby interdicted from continuing any process for the appointment of a Prosecutor-General,’ reads the operative part of the judgment.
Meanwhile, activist pastor Evan Mawarire was acquitted on his subversion charge last week. A TimesLIVE report notes that the case that has been scrutinised as a barometer of the independence of the courts under new President Emmerson Mnangagwa. Mawarire has been a strident critic of Mugabe. 'This could be evidence of a freer Zimbabwe but this case had no legs to stand on. I think a lot more needs to be seen to determine whether this is a free judiciary going forward,' Mawarire told reporters after Judge Priscilla Chigumba's judgment. The pastor's #ThisFlag movement had been a thorn in the side of Mugabe's government.
And the Zimbabwean High Court has ruled in favour of those with dual citizenship so that they can be registered in the ongoing biometric voter registration (BVR) drive and participate in next year’s elections. A report on The Citizen site notes that Judge Nyaradzi Munangati-Manongwa said the 'aliens' were supposed to produce their identity documents along with a birth certificate and proof of residence. The granting of the court order came after human rights lawyer Denford Halimani of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights petitioned the High Court on behalf of Harare resident Sarah Kachingwe and two political parties, MDC-T and MDC-N, who sought an order to compel the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to register the so-called aliens as prospective voters for the 2018 general elections during the ongoing BVR exercise.