Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi and Chief Justice Luke Malaba
JUSTICE Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi was tongue lashed in Parliament yesterday after he refused to respond to questions regarding his attack on judges of the High Court who he accused of being captured by foreign governments.
Ziyambi at the weekend threatened judges for ruling against the extension of former Chief Justice Luke Malaba’s term by five years.
Temba Mliswa (Independent) said Ziyambi should resign because he was irresponsible, and demanded that the minister explains to the House why he chose to go against the principle of separation of powers.
“My understanding is that in the doctrine of separation of powers which we must all understand, the Judiciary is independent, so is the Executive and Parliament,” Mliswa said.
“Now that the matter has been appealed already, the judges that are handling this matter are already compromised. They are under threat. It has never happened where a Minister of Justice, who is the father of justice, issues a statement like that and goes political in saying that some judges belong to the opposition.
“We never knew anything (about) that any judge belongs to the opposition as much as we believe that his discharge of duty as a minister is for the interest of the people of Zimbabwe. There is now a constitutional crisis.”
Mliswa added: “Other than that, he must resign but he must be given a chance because his credibility and that of the justice delivery system of Zimbabwe which must exercise judicial prudence has been failed by one person.”
But Ziyambi refused to be drawn into discussing the issue saying: “There are those that wrote a letter indicating that they want that application to be subjected to the High Court, and so it is sub judice.”
Mliswa refused to accept Ziyambi’s response adding: “When I say I want to hit you, I do not mean I will hit you, and so the matter is not before the courts. I do not have to teach you law as I am not a lawyer…. and this time I hope he will not comment on High Court rulings.”
Ziyambi responded: “I respect my brother Temba Mliswa, but I did not come to Parliament to say something that is false. I have papers that were sent to the High Court with the same complaint and it is still something that is totally wrong to comment about it. I will await the direction of the courts.”
Mliswa retorted: “If indeed the matter is before the courts, we should allow due process, and maybe I should be the Minister of Justice next time.”