Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter
The Constitutional Court has reserved judgment in a case in which a Harare lawyer is seeking an order declaring the appointment of Mr Kumbirai Hodzi as the country’s substantive Prosecutor-General invalid.
Joshua Chirambwe wants the appointment of Mr Hodzi invalidated, arguing he scored badly in the public interviews held by the Judicial Service Commission last year making him unfit to hold the top prosecutorial job.
President Mnangagwa, the JSC, Chief Justice Luke Malaba, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi and Mr Hodzi, are listed as respondents in the application heard before the full bench of the Constitutional Court yesterday.
The application brought in terms of Section 167(2) of the Constitution for a declarator, contends that in appointing Mr Hodzi to the post of Prosecutor-General, President Mnangagwa breached certain constitutional obligations imposed upon him in terms of the supreme law.
Justice Paddington Garwe reserved ruling to consider the matter after hearing arguments by all parties’ lawyers.
Mrs Fortune Chimbaru from the Attorney-General’s Office, who acted for President Mnangagwa, dismissed as unfounded claims by Chirambwe that a meeting was convened in which the Head of State and Government specified his preference for Mr Hodzi.
“It is this alleged conduct that form the basis of applicant’s conclusion that respondent failed to carry out his constitutional obligations,” said Mrs Chimbaru citing Chirambwe’s heads of argument.
“The applicant’s case is based on rumour and speculations.”
Mrs Chimbaru also said Chirambwe failed to give evidence to support his assertion that Mr Hodzi failed the interview and did not make it to the top six.
“Neither was there any evidence availed to support the averment that the first respondent interfered with the process which then resulted in the fifth respondent’s name “miraculously” making it on the second list,” she said.
Ms Chimbaru urged the court to dismiss the application with costs, saying it is without merit. Arguing the matter for JSC and the Chief Justice, Advocate Lewis Uriri urged the court to throw out the application, arguing that it was a monumental dog’s breakfast doomed to fail.
He argued that an inquiry into the question that the President has failed to fulfil his constitutional obligation is an intrusion into the executive’s exercise of its constitutionally given powers.
“For a complaint that the President has failed to fulfil a constitutional obligation to be sustained, certain allegations of fact must be made and proved,” he said.
Chirambwe was represented by Advocate Thabani Mpofu.