Exiled former Cabinet Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo has alleged that Chief Justice Luke Malaba instructed magistrates to deny bail to persons accused of taking part in the violent protests that rocked the country on January 14.
Moyo was reacting to Chief Justice Malaba’s statements to the media where he commended Human Rights lawyers for assisting the accused persons in relation to the #ShutdownZimbabwe case.
Said Malaba,”The Zimbabwe lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) must be commended for taking up these cases. It worked tirelessly and it did its best in this extraordinary circumstances. A classic example is what happened in Bulawayo where one legal [practitioner has taken up to 20 different cases and these cases were remanded to the same date January 31 for trial.”
However Professor Moyo said Justice Malaba’s hands are not clean in the alleged abuse of rule of law and court processes by court officials.
“The jury is still out on this matter. Malaba’s hands are not clean.” Said Moyo. “There’s credible information that he is the one who instructed magistrates to deny bail to persons accused of all sorts of mad things during the shutdown. There’s a need for a spotlight on his duplicitous role.”
African Director of International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) Arnold Tsunga challenged all those with evidence against Malaba to put it out into the public.
“It is important to put his (Malaba) public pronouncement in the public space so that the court of public opinion is fully informed and can come to its own conclusions. If he gave instructions to interfere with judicial independence let’s place the evidence out as well,” remarked Tsunga.
Recently Law Society of Zimbabwe issued a statement saying Justice Malaba who is the Chairperson of the Judiciary Services Commission denied having issued an instruction to the law officers who were alleged to be acting in a similar fashion all over the country.