JUDGE QIN­ISILE LANDS TOP POST

Observer on Saturday - - Front Page - By Linda Jele

His Majesty King Mswati III’s de­ci­sion to en­dorse High Court Judge Qin­isile Mabuza to rep­re­sent the coun­try in the COMESA Court of Jus­tice has been jus­ti­fied.

Judge Mabuza was yes­ter­day elected Prin­ci­pal Judge of the COMESA Court of First In­stance. Mabuza’s court is made up of seven judges of the 19 mem­ber states of the trade bloc.

COMESA stands for the Com­mon Mar­ket for East­ern and South­ern Africa.

This is one of the se­nior posts af­ter that of the ap­pel­late di­vi­sion in the COMESA court of jus­tice which is led by Judge Pres­i­dent Lombe Chibesakunda, which hears ap­peals of judg­ments, handed down by the COMESA Court of First In­stance.

Ap­point­ment

Mabuza’s star con­tin­ues to shine af­ter His Majesty the King blocked the ap­point­ment of ju­nior Judge Mpen­dulo Sime­lane whose name had been clan­des­tinely been pushed by for­mer Chief Jus­tice Michael Ramod­ibedi and sup­ported by then jus­tice and con­sti­tu­tional af­fairs min­is­ter Sen. Sibu­siso Shongwe.

Judge Mabuza was elected yes­ter­day dur­ing the meet­ing of the mem­ber states’ min­is­ters of jus­tice and At­tor­ney Gen­er­als held in Lusaka, Zam­bia, COMESA’S Head­quar­ters.

Rep­re­sent­ing the coun­try was ICT Min­is­ter Dum­sani Nd­langa­mandla.

Mabuza was ap­pointed a judge in the COMESA Court of Jus­tice af­ter a rec­om­men­da­tion by His Majesty King Mswati III last year and sat for her first case in Septem­ber 2015.

Judge Mabuza will be head­ing a court com­pris­ing of six judges.

Pol­icy

The COMESA Court of Jus­tice was es­tab­lished in 1994 un­der Ar­ti­cle 7 of the COMESA Treaty. The Author­ity which is the supreme pol­icy or­gan of COMESA ap­pointed the Judges of the Court dur­ing its 3rd Sum­mit on 30th June, 1998 at Kin­shasa in the DR Congo.

In the first in­stance di­vi­sion, she sits with judges Clotilde Muka­mur­era from Rwanda, Mary Kasango from Kenya and Leonard Gacuko from Bu­rundi,

among oth­ers. The COMESA Court of Jus­tice is the ju­di­cial or­gan of a re­gional eco­nomic com­mu­nity and is re­spon­si­ble for ad­ju­di­cat­ing dis­putes aris­ing un­der the COMESA Treaty be­tween COMESA’s mem­ber states, in­di­vid­u­als and cor­po­ra­tions.

When con­tacted last night on her elec­tion Judge Mabuza was elated and thanked His Majesty the King for demon­strat­ing his con­fi­dence on her. She said whilst the work has been chal­leng­ing but so far she has coped well.

“I am ex­cited about this chal­lenge and I will do ev­ery­thing to en­sure that I rep­re­sent my coun­try well, by en­sur­ing that I lead the busi­ness of the Court of First In­stance ef­fec­tively and en­sure to keep the high­est stan­dards of pro­fes­sion­al­ism and re­main true to our oaths. So far I have en­joyed the sup­port from other col­leagues and I think we have de­vel­oped a good un­der­stand­ing,” an elated COMESA Prin­ci­pal Judge Mabuza said.

She said her swear­ing in should hap­pen soon at the COMESA Sum­mit to be held in Mada­gas­car.

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