Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter—
Outgoing Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku is today expected to deliver a key note address to mark the official opening of the 2017 Legal Year and launch the Judicial Service Commission Law Reports at the Constitutional Court.
High-ranking Government officials, members of the legal fraternity and diplomats are among the invited guests.
The event runs concurrently with similar events in Bulawayo and Masvingo. Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba will officiate at the Bulawayo High Court, while Judge President Justice George Chiweshe will do the same in Masvingo.
Staff at the three centres were yesterday making final preparations for the opening ceremony. The official opening of a new Legal Year is an important event in the judicial calendar, as it gives the Chief Justice an opportunity to review the key developments over the past year and highlight the challenges and opportunities for the future.
The Chief Justice will also have an occasion to interact with the public, judges from various other courts, lawyers, diplomats and development partners. In his address last year, Chief Justice Chidyausiku urged stakeholders to partner to improve the justice delivery system.
He said all the stakeholders in the justice delivery system should be accountable to citizens and respect the roles of each other. Chief Justice Chidyausiku is going on retirement at the end of next month when he reaches the mandatory age of 70.
Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba is likely to take over in an acting capacity in March pending the amendment of the Constitution to facilitate the appointment of the new Chief Justice.
The amendment seeks to give the President constitutional powers to appoint the Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice and Judge President. The Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Bill (Number 1) meant to change the Constitution has since been gazetted.
Chief Justice Chidyausiku was appointed to his post in July 2001 and during his tenure he presided over a number of reforms within the Judiciary.