President Emmerson Mnangagwa has sworn in Supreme Court judge, Justice Elizabeth Gwaunza as the Deputy Chief Justice at brief ceremony at State House in Harare this afternoon.
Justice Gwaunza’s elevation to become the Deputy Chief Justice filled the gap left by the promotion of Chief Justice Luke Malaba last year.
Justice Gwaunza was appointed in terms of the new constitution following the gazetting of Constitutional Amendment number 1 last year which gives the President powers to appoint a Chief Justice, the Deputy Chief Justice and the High Court Judge President after consultation with the Judicial Service Commission (JSC).
Her appointment also marks a departure from the system where the appointment required the candidate to be interviewed by the JSC.
Justice Gwaunza is a long serving member of JSC and was appointed as judge of the High Court in August 1998 and then Supreme Court judge in November 2008.
Speaking after taking the oath of office, Justice Ngwaunza said she is determined to continue working hard and help eradicate corruption from whatever quarter it rears its ugly head from.
Justice Gwaunza was the second woman to sit on the Supreme Court bench after Justice Vernanda Ziyambi and was a legal practitioner of the High Court in 1987.
She was the founding member and past president of Zimbabwe Women Judges and member of the International Association of Women Judges.
She also chaired the Wills and Inheritance Project, a joint venture of the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and the British Department of International Development.
Scores of people and relatives including her husband, daughter, sisters and nieces were overjoyed to witness her swearing in ceremony, with some mobbing the president and his deputies for selfies.