SUPREME Court judge Elizabeth Gwaunza (pictured) will today be sworn in as deputy chief justice, completing the full structure of the judiciary and ending months of speculation.
By Wongai Zhangazha
Gwaunza will be appointed in terms of the new constitution following the gazetting of Constitutional Amendment (Number One) in September last year, which gives the president powers to appoint Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice and High Court Judge President after consultation with the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).
She was appointed as a judge of the High Court in August 1998 and in November 2002 was promoted to the Supreme Court in November.
The new deputy chief justice was the second woman to sit on the Supreme Court bench after Justice Vernanda Ziyambi. She started work as a legal practitioner of the High Court in 1987.
Gwaunza is filling the post left vacant by Chief Justice Justice Luke Malaba who held the position before his elevation last year. Malaba was appointed by former president Robert Mugabe in terms of the constitution which then provided for public interviews to be held by the JSC.
She was the founding member and past president of the Zimbabwe Association of Women Judges and member of the International Association of Women Judges. She also chaired the Wills and Inheritance Project — a joint venture of Britain’s Department for International Development and the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.