Freeman Razemba Senior Reporter
Cabinet has approved that the Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice and judges of the Supreme and Constitutional Courts hold office until they reach the age of 70 and thereafter have their contracts renewed annually upon production of a medical fitness certificate, for a period not exceeding five years.
The current retirement age for all civil servants is 65.
Addressing journalists after the 45th Cabinet meeting, Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said Cabinet had considered and approved the Constitutional Amendment Bill which the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Ziyambi Ziyambi had presented as chairman of the Cabinet Committee on Legislation.
The Bill also proposes that the retirement age for judges of the High Court, Labour Court and any other judges be 70 years.
It also seeks to have the appointment of judges of the Constitutional Court for a non-renewable term of not more than fifteen years, who may also be appointed as judges of the Supreme Court or High Court if they are eligible for such appointment, after completion of their term.
Some of the salient amendments to be effected include a subsection allowing the President, upon recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission, to appoint a sitting judge to be judge of a higher court whenever a vacancy at such a court arises.
Minister Mutsvangwa said the Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet and his or her deputies would be appointed by the President, in consultation with the Civil Service Commission.
Their terms and conditions of service shall be as fixed by the President.
Minister Mutsvangwa said the President shall also appoint the Public Protector and Deputy Public Protector after consultation with the Judicial Service Commission and the Committee on Standing Rules and Orders.
Appointment of a Prosecutor-General by the President will be done in consultation with the Judicial Service Commission.
Meanwhile, Minister Ziyambi also gave Cabinet a progress update on the implementation of the 4th 100-Day Cycle Priority Projects.
Cabinet heard that construction of the Chinhoyi Magistrates Court is progressing.
Minister Ziyambi briefed Cabinet that during that period there were 14 cases of corruption that were handled with eight convictions while the other six cases were acquitted.
Seven high profile corruption cases and eight minor corruption cases were identified.
“Despite delays emanating from referrals to superior courts, finalisation of the cases is being taken seriously.”
The media briefing was attended by Minister Ziyambi, Minister of State for Presidential Affairs and Monitoring Implementation of Government Programmes Joram Gumbo, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda and Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Secretary Mr Nick Mangwana, among other senior officials.