Latest on new Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson Justice Priscilla Chigumba

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HIGH Court judge Justice Priscilla Makanyara Chigumba has been appointed the new Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Zec) chairperson.

She replaces Justice Rita Makarau who resigned last year.

Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Cde Ziyambi Ziyambi said Justice Chigumba will take oath of office today at State House.

“The President after consultation with the Judicial Service Commission and the Parliament Committee on Standing Rules and Orders has appointed Justice Priscilla Chigumba as the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission Chairperson. She will be sworn in at 10AM tomorrow (today),” said Minister Ziyambi.

Justice Chigumba was born in 1971 and attended Goromonzi High School before proceeding to St Ignatius High School for Advanced Level.

She studied at the University of London in 1991 and graduated with a Bachelor of Laws Degree (LLB) in 1994.

Justice Chigumba started her legal career as a professional assistant at Gollop and Blank Legal Practitioners from 1994 to 2000.

In 2000, she moved to PG Industries where she worked as an assistant company secretary.

She was responsible for company litigation matters and handling other legal cases.

In the same year, she set up her own law firm Messrs Chigumba and Associates Legal Practitioners.

Between 2001 and 2003, she was the administrator of the Zimbabwe Regional Disaster Alleviation Trust in the aftermath of Cyclone Eline.

In 2004, she was appointed a magistrate and worked in Harare at Rotten Row Court and rose through the ranks to become a resident magistrate at Magistrates Civil Court in 2007.

During her tenure at the civil courts, Justice Chigumba participated in the crafting of the Domestic Violence Act.

In September 2010, she was transferred to Chitungwiza Magistrate’s Court where she was stationed until March 2011.

In May 2011, Justice Chigumba was seconded to the office of the Chief Justice where she worked as a Research Assistant.

She has been a judge of the High Court since her appointment in December 2012.

Meanwhile, Minister Ziyambi said President Mnangagwa was today also going to swear in members of a commission of inquiry which was appointed in September last year by former President Robert Mugabe to look into the sale of State land in and around urban areas since 2005.

The Commission which is chaired by Justice Tendai Uchena was appointed in terms of section 2 (1) of the Commissions of Inquiry Act that empowers the President to take such a step when he considers it advisable.

Other members of the commission are Mr Andrew Mlalazi, Mr Stephen Chakaipa, Dr Tarisai Mutangi, Dr Heather Chingono and Ms Petronella Musarurwa.

The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Mrs Virginia Mabhiza is the commission’s secretary.

According to the proclamation, the inquiry will run for 12 months from the day of gazetting with an option of a three months extension, with a comprehensive report expected to be produced at the end of the inquiry. The Commission’s terms of reference shall be:

“(i) to investigate and identify all State land in and around urban areas that was acquired and allocated to the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing for urban development since 2005;

(ii) to investigate and ascertain the status of such land in terms of ownership, occupation and development; (c) to investigate methods of acquisition and/or allocation by current occupants and owners of such land;

(iii) to investigate and ascertain the actors involved in allocations, occupation and use of such land;

(v) to conduct visitations where necessary, summon witnesses, record proceedings, minute testimonies and document, consider and manage all information gathered in order to arrive at appropriate findings and recommendations to the President;

(vi) to investigate any other matter which the Commission of Inquiry may deem appropriate and relevant to the inquiry; to report to the President in writing, the result of the inquiry.”

– Chronicle


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