Fidelis Munyoro Chief Reporter
President Mnangagwa is set to appoint eight judges to fill positions that have arisen at the High Court bench after the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) submitted a list of 10 candidates who performed well in public interviews held last month.
The bench is under-staffed, resulting in the passing of judgments taking time.
To worsen the situation, the court recently lost two seasoned judges, Justices Nicholas Mathonsi and Charles Hungwe, who were elevated to the Supreme Court.
JSC acting secretary Mr Walter Chikwana yesterday confirmed that a list of qualifying candidates for the appointment has since been forwarded to President Mnangagwa for his consideration.
“The JSC has submitted a list of qualifying candidates to the President in terms of the law,” he said while holding back the finer details on the matter.
More than 16 candidates took part in the public interviews conducted early last month. The interviews are an important part of the appointment process for judges laid down in Section 180 (4) of the Constitution, which provides guidelines on the appointment of judges of superior courts.
They come after the earlier stages in the process already taken by the JSC — advertising the vacancies and inviting the President and members of the public to put forward qualified candidates, and preliminary vetting of the nomination documents.
After the interviews, the JSC is required to decide on a list of qualified persons as nominees for the eight posts, and send the list to the President.
Having received the JSC’s list of nominees, the President must then, unless he considers that no one on the list is suitable for appointment to the High Court bench, make the eight appointments from that list.
If the President considers that none of the persons on the list is suitable for the appointment, he must require the JSC to submit a further list of qualified persons.