Home » Governance » Public Interviews for Judges Today

THE Judicial Service Commission will today conduct public interviews for the three posts for judges of the Supreme Court, with legal experts predicting a tough selection process as candidates short-listed are all experienced and competent.

The public process, which is the first of its kind in the country’s judicial history, gives people a unique opportunity to participate in the country’s judicial systems and process right at the core level.

Justices Chinembiri Bhunu, Charles Kunofiwei Hungwe, Samuel Kudya, Lavender Makoni, Happias Zhou, Susan Mavangira, Nicholas Mathonsi, Tendai Uchena (all from the High Court) and Labour Court judges Justices Euna Makamure and Mercy Moya-Matshanga will battle it out at a Harare hotel.

Legal experts yesterday said it was encouraging that the framers of the new Constitution saw it fit to provide for an all encompassing process and hope the process would translate into something people would feel part of.

Mr Chris Mhike said: “This procedure undoubtedly marks a significant improvement to our appointment system and it brings us closer to international best practice regarding the appointment of high-ranking judicial officers.

“During and after these public interviews, we expect the JSC and the President to proceed in terms of Section 191 of the Constitution, that is, to conduct the subsequent business of judicial appointments in a just, fair and transparent manner.

“The transparency must be followed through all the way to the end. We expect all candidates in this process to be totally honest, truthful and sincere as they respond to the questions put to them.”

Mr Succeed Takundwa, a senior partner at Takundwa and Company law firm, welcomed the public interviews.

“The process that has been adopted is a welcome development and provides an opportunity for the public to participate in the transparent selection of the members of the judiciary which forms a key part of the State,” he said.

“All the judges on the list are extremely competent and qualified for the posts that are available.”

Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association director Ms Chiedza Simbo said Zimbabwe had taken a giant step in promoting constitutionalism.

“By conducting public interviews for judges, the State is complying with the provisions of the supreme law of the country, which details the procedure for the appointment of judges,” she said.

“We hope that women will also be shortlisted on an equitable basis with men for the positions in compliance with the Constitution which requires gender balance in all spheres of Zimbabwean society.”

Kenya and South Africa are some of the countries that use the public interviews approach in recruiting judges. The judges to be interviewed were nominated by the public following an aertisement by JSC on March 14 this year.

Previously, the President would appoint the judges on the recommendation of the JSC.

Source : The Herald