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Public interviews for top judges

Public interviews for top judges Chief Justice Chidyausiku
Chief Justice Chidyausiku

Chief Justice Chidyausiku

Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter
The Judicial Services Commission will next week conduct public interviews for the three posts of Supreme Court judges that have arisen.
Ten judges, eight from the High Court and two from the Labour Court, will be battling it out at Rainbow Towers in Harare on Monday.
Justices Chinembiri Bhunu, Charles Hungwe, Samuel Kudya, Lavender Makoni, Happias Zhou, Susan Mavangira, Nicholas Mathonsi, Tendai Uchena (from the High Court) and Labour Court judges Justices Euna Makamure and Mercy Moya-Matshanga, will appear before a panel of 10 JSC commissioners chaired by Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku.

Some of the judges were nominated by President Mugabe, while others by the public following an advertisement by JSC on March 14 this year.
People were invited to nominate judges of their choice in line with the new Constitution of Zimbabwe promulgated last year.

Previously, the President would appoint the judges on the recommendation of the JSC but no public interviews were conducted.
Next week’s public interview session will be the first of its kind in the history of Zimbabwe.

Kenya and South Africa are some of the few countries that use the public interviews approach in recruiting judges.
In a statement, JSC secretary Justice Rita Makarau said the interviews would start at 9am at the Harare International Conference Centre.

“Following nominations by the President and members of the public, the Judicial Service Commission will interview 10 candidates on Tuesday 15 July 2014, starting at 9am.
“The interviews shall be held at the Harare International Conference Centre, Rainbow Towers Hotel,” the statement read.

Justice Makarau said the process was transparent and democratic and that all people were free to witness it.
“In accordance with the provisions of Section 180 (2) (c) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, the Judicial Service Commission shall conduct the above interviews in public.
“Members of the public are accordingly being notified of the date, time and venue,” she said.

She said the media were free to cover the proceedings and report them to the nation as they unfold.
“Journalists are most welcome to the interviews considering that our process is fair, transparent and democratic.

“They are free to cover the proceedings because they are public,” Justice Makarau said.
Out of the 10 candidates, nine names will be forwarded to the President.

“In terms of the Constitution, nine names will be recommended by JSC after the interviews and the President will select three who will take up the posts,” said Justice Makarau.

JSC also advertised three other posts at the High Court bench and interviews in respect of those posts will be conducted publicly in due course.

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