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Supreme Court & High Court Judges & Labour and Administrative Court Presidents - Court Watch 2/2013
Veritas
January 26, 2013

Supreme Court & High Court Judges & Labour and Administrative Court Presidents

New High Court Judges appointed

Four new High Court judges were sworn in by President Mugabe at State House on Friday 21st December.

Note: All have far more than the minimum seven year’s standing as a registered legal practitioner which is the basic qualification for a judicial appointment under the Constitution. [Note: Persons with foreign law degrees have to pass examinations in Zimbabwean law set by the Council of Legal Education to qualify for registration as legal practitioners in Zimbabwe.] The new judges are listed below in order of their seniority as judges; where judges are, as in this case, sworn in on the same day their seniority is dictated by the date of their registration on the roll of legal practitioners.

Justice Joseph Martin Mafusire

Justice Mafusire is a holder of a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Zimbabwe. He has over 25 years experience in private legal practice with law firm Scanlen and Holderness, where he was a partner and head of the litigation department. He is a member of the Board of Examiners (Ethics) for the Council for Legal Education in Zimbabwe and has been a part-time law lecturer at Harare Polytechnic and Christian College of Southern Africa.

Justice David Mangota

Justice Mangota has been Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs for the past 11 years, and comes to the High Court from a long career in the Public Service, starting in 1984 as an assistant magistrate and rising through the ranks to resident magistrate and regional magistrate before becoming chief magistrate from 1998 to 2001. He obtained his Bachelor of Laws degree at the University of Zimbabwe in 1990. [Note: Justice Mangota joins three other former Permanent Secretaries for Justice currently serving as judges – Justices Paddington Garwe and Yunus Omerjee in the Supreme Court, and Acting Justice Misheck Cheda in the High Court.]

Justice Maxwell Munodawafa Takuva

Justice Takuva moves to the High Court from the Labour Court. Before he was appointed to the Labour Court he was a prosecutor in the Attorney General’s Office and attained the rank of chief law officer. In his address opening the 2013 Legal Year on 14th January the Chief Justice complimented Justice Takuva for outstanding work in completing a large number of cases during 2012 when he was the only presiding judicial officer at the Gweru Labour Court.

Justice Priscillah Makanyara Chigumba

Justice Chigumba is a graduate of Kings College, University of London, where she obtained a Ll.B. Honours degree in 1994. She joined private practice in 1994 and later worked in industry before setting up her own practice. She became a magistrate in November 2004 and was resident magistrate at the Harare Civil Court before being transferred to Chitungwiza from September 2010 to March 2011 as provincial magistrate. From May 2011 onwards she was attached to the office of Chief Justice Chidyausiku as chief researcher, and she comes to the bench from that posting.

Resignation of High Court Judge

Justice Nicholas Ndou, who had been stationed in Bulawayo, resigned with effect from 31st December 2012. Justice Mutema will take his place in Bulawayo. Justice Ndou had been a judge since August 2001 and before that served for twenty years as a magistrate. He has been the presiding judge in the Mthwakazi Liberation Front treason trial case in Bulawayo, and his decision on the defence application for the discharge of the accused persons at the close of the State case is awaited. Justice Ndou’s departure from the bench does not mean he cannot complete the MLF case; the Constitution recognises that a judge may complete a case commenced before he or she left office.

More Judges Needed - Minister of Justice & Legal Affairs

Speaking after the swearing-in ceremony for the new judges, Minister Chinamasa said the appointments had been necessitated by the great increase in litigation in the High Court. There were 18 000 new civil cases lodged in 2012 compared to 12 759 civil cases in 2011. Divorce cases headed the list. The Minister also said that only financial constraints were holding up the expansion of the High Court so as to improve access to justice by having resident judges in urban centres other than Harare and Bulawayo.

Full List of Judges

[in order of seniority]

Supreme Court

  • Hon Godfrey Chidyausiku, Chief Justice
  • Hon Luke Malaba, Deputy Chief Justice
  • Hon Vernanda Ziyambi
  • Hon Elizabeth Gwaunza [currently seconded as a judge on the International Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Hague]
  • Hon Paddington Garwe
  • Hon Rita Makarau [currently seconded to the Judicial Service Commission as full-time Acting Secretary]
  • Hon Yunus Omerjee
  • Hon Anne-Marie Gowora

High Court

  • Hon George Chiweshe, Judge President
  • Hon Lawrence Kamocha [Bulawayo]
  • Hon Ben Hlatshwayo
  • Hon Charles Hungwe
  • Hon Antonia Guvava
  • Hon Maphios Cheda [Bulawayo]
  • Hon Susan Mavangira
  • Hon Lavender Makoni
  • Hon Chinembiri Bhunu
  • Hon Tendai Uchena
  • Hon Bharat Patel
  • Hon Alfas Chitakunye
  • Hon Francis Bere
  • Hon Samuel Kudya
  • Hon Felistas Chatukuta
  • Hon Joseph Musakwa
  • Hon November Mtshiya
  • Hon Garainesu Mawadze
  • Hon Andrew Mutema [Bulawayo]
  • Hon Nicholas Mathonsi
  • Hon Martin Makonese
  • Hon Hlekani Molly Mwayera
  • Hon Maria Zimba-Dube
  • Hon Happias Zhou
  • Hon Joseph Mafusire
  • Hon David Mangota
  • Hon Maxwell Takuva
  • Hon Priscillah Chigumba
  • Acting High Court judge
  • Hon Misheck Cheda [Bulawayo]

Circuit Courts: The High Court’s permanent seats are in Harare and Bulawayo. It also holds circuit courts in other centres three times a year to try criminal cases, for about two weeks on each occasion. Bulawayo judges preside over the Gweru and Hwange circuit courts, Harare judges over the Mutare and Masvingo circuit courts.

Statistics

Supreme Court Judges: 8 [of whom 4 are men and 4 are women]

High Court judges: 29 includes 1 Acting High Court Judge [of whom 22 men and 7 are women]

Labour Court Presidents

[in order of seniority]

Note: Presiding officers in the Labour Court are called “presidents”, not “judges”. The Labour Act requires the use of the term “president”. The Senior President has overall administrative responsibility for the operations of the court.

  • Hon Gladys Mhuri, Senior President
  • Hon Euna Makamure
  • Hon Lillian Hove
  • Hon Godfrey Musariri
  • Hon Selo Nare [Bulawayo]
  • Hon Custom Kachambwa [Gweru]
  • Hon Bridget Chivhizhe
  • Hon Mercy Moya-Matshanga [Bulawayo]
  • Hon Lillian Matanda-Moyo
  • Hon Betty Chidziva
  • Hon Erica Ndewere
  • Hon Lilian Kudya

Statistics

Total: 12 [of whom 9 are women and 3 are men]

Administrative Court President

Hon Herbert Mandeya

Note: As in the Labour Court, presiding officers in the Administrative Court are called “presidents”. The present workload of the court requires only one presiding officer. Things were different when farm acquisitions for purposes of the land reform programme had to be processed under the Land Acquisition Act, which required acquisitions to be confirmed, and compensation assessed, by the Administrative Court. Then, several presidents were required. When the workload changed they moved to other posts.

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