Eight new commissioners were sworn in to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) yesterday to join four others, including chairman Chief Justice Luke Malaba.
The new commissioners are Supreme Court judge Justice Chinembiri Bhunu, Chief Magistrate Mr Munamato Mutevedzi, Law Society of Zimbabwe president Mr Thandaza Masiye-Moyo, veteran lawyers Misheck Hogwe and Ms Nokuthula Moyo, Ms Rosalia Kumbirai Katsande from academia, accountant Mr Francis Vurayayi Chingozho and human resources expert Ms Trish Jasi.
They have replaced High Court judge Justice Happias Zhou, former chief magistrate Mr Mishrod Guvamombe, former LSZ president Mr Lloyd Mhishi, accountant Mrs Priscilla Mutembwi and lawyers Mrs Priscilla Madzonga and Mr Josphat Tshuma.
Chief Justice Malaba, Deputy Chief Justice Elizabeth Gwaunza, Judge President George Chiweshe and Public Service Commission chairman Mr Vincent Hungwe retain their positions.
All four, along with several of the new commissioners, sit by virtue of the office they hold and there have been no changes in their office recently. Other commissioners are nominated by special groups.
The new commissioners took oaths before Chief Justice Malaba in the Constitutional Court. They all promised to do their best to serve the commission.
Justice Bhunu, a career jurist with over 40 years of legal experience, said he would continue with what “we have always been doing”.
“My contribution will be to enhance the administration of justice making sure the wheels of justice continue rolling and they must roll at a faster rate,” he said.
“We need justice at every aspect of our lives. It will enhance the economy of the country, investors will come if they know that their disputes are going to be resolved efficiently.”
Mr Masiye-Moyo said the legal fraternity was probably the biggest stakeholder in the justice system hence there had been a good relationship between the bench and the bar.
“This appointment of legal practitioners is by virtue of operation of the constitutional provision and the drafters of the constitution are aware that legal practitioners have valid stake in the justice delivery system,” he said.
“I look forward to good fruitful years and I am going to learn a lot. I will represent my profession in the best manner I can, moreso because of the expertise that I have in the justice delivery system.
Mr Mutevedzi, who was recently appointed Chief Magistrate, sits on the commission as the head of the lower courts.
“I am elated to become a commissioner of the Judicial Service Commission,” he said.
“I have been appointed as a commissioner by virtue of my office as the Chief Magistrate of Zimbabwe that means my interests primarily are to better magistracy in the country and represent the magistracy in the commission. I will give it my all.”
Ms Moyo said: “I am committed to promoting transparency and credibility within the judiciary and also ensuring that we have good working conditions for members of our judiciary so that they can serve without worry.”
Ms Trish Jasi said she brings a wealth of experience as a human resources practitioner.
“I will add a lot of value in terms of human people management and to promote credibility and transparency in the workplace.”
Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi along with other high-ranking Government officials attended the brief ceremony at Mashonganyika Building.