Press Statement on the recent appointments of the Judge President and the New Deputy Attorney General

Women’s Institute for Leadership Development (WILD) staff and board members extend their heartfelt congratulations to Justice Mary Zimba – Dube and Mrs Fortune Chimbaru, two women who have recently been appointed as Judge President and New Deputy Attorney General, respectively.

Justice Zimba-Dube, who has sat as a judge of the High Court for 10 years, fills the vacancy created by the promotion to the Supreme Court, of the immediate past Judge President, Justice George Chiweshe. She is the second woman to occupy the top High Court office after Justice Rita Makarau, who was first promoted to the Supreme Court and then, in May this year, was one of the first five judges appointed to the Constitutional Court.

Before her promotion, Deputy Attorney General, Mrs Fortune Chimbaru was the Civil Division Director of the Attorney General’s office.

Such appointments come at a time when the country is working towards promoting and prioritising women’s equal representation as enshrined in the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

Although Zimbabwe is a signatory to, and has ratified, several regional and international protocols, treaties, conventions and other instruments for the advancement and promotion of gender equality in general, and the empowerment of women and girls in particular, low representation of women in top judiciary decision-making positions, remains a constraint in women’s leadership.

The Constitution of Zimbabwe in Sections 17, 56 and 80 provides a strong legal framework on gender balance, equality and non-discrimination towards the protection and promotion of the rights of women in Zimbabwe. Appointing capable women leaders showcases strides in which the country is striving towards reforming its judiciary structures through the promotion of equal opportunities for all.

WILD commends the efforts by the judiciary system and the Government of Zimbabwe in ensuring the empowerment of women is achieved in line with the Constitutional provisions and international statues that promote gender equality.

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