Zimbabwe to appoint three more top judges

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The Supreme Court of Zimbabwe is to be expanded from five judges to eight in a move that the opposition called an effort to put compliant judges into a court that has often ruled against the government.

Patrick Chinamasa, the Justice Minister, told state radio that the appointments to the nation's highest court were meant to cope with an increase in appeals, including those by white farmers contesting land confiscations. More labour disputes were also expected to go to appeal, he said.

The opposition Movement for Democratic Change said the move "smells of dubious intentions" to pack the court in the government's favour. "The intention is to water down the independence of the highest court and create a pliant bench," Learnmore Jongwe, an opposition spokesman, said.