PRESIDENT Mugabe yesterday swore in four new judges of the High Court to ease burden on the bench. Secretary for Justice and Legal Affairs Mr David Mangota, Labour Court President Mr Maxwell Takuva, magistrate Mrs Priscilla Chigumba and seasoned lawyer Mr Joseph Mafusire yesterday took loyalty and judicial oaths before the Head of State and Government and Commander-in-chief of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces.
They vowed to serve the nation diligently without fear or favour.
The ceremony attracted senior Government officials and judges from the High Court, Supreme Court, Administrative Court and the Labour Court.
Justice Mangota yesterday left the employ of the Public Service Commission and joined the Judicial Service Commission.
Said Mangota: "I am excited to be a judge of the High Court. I have just gone to where I belong. I started serving as a magistrate in 1984 and I rose through the ranks to become the chief magistrate in 1998."
Justice Mangota holds a Masters in Business Administration degree, Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Law (Honours) degrees.
He served as a resident magistrate, regional magistrate, senior regional magistrate, chief magistrate before being appointed Secretary for Justice and Legal Affairs in 2001.
Justice Chigumba, who was among the best students at St Ignatius High School with 15 Advanced Level points in 1989, obtained a Bachelor of Law degree in the United Kingdom before joining Gollop and Blank law firm in 1994. She practised as a lawyer for six years before joining PG Industries as assistant company secretary.
She later formed her own law firm before joining the Justice and Legal Affairs Ministry as a magistrate in 2004.
Justice Chigumba served as a resident magistrate and provincial magistrate before being seconded to work as a senior professional research assistant in the Office of the Chief Justice.
Justice Chigumba yesterday said she felt honoured.
"It is an honour to serve one's country as a judge. I feel greatly honoured," she said.
Justice Mafusire practised as a lawyer for 26 years. He was a senior partner with Scanlen and Holderness law firm.
He also worked as part-time business administration lecturer at Harare Polytechnic and the Christian College of Southern Africa.
The judge said it was an exciting opportunity for him to feel the other side of practising law after being in the practice for 26 years.
Justice Takuva started as clerk of court and became a prosecutor in 1985.
He was transferred to the Attorney-General's Office where he was promoted to chief law officer. In 2005 he was appointed Labour Court President.
The appointment of the quartet came at the time the Judicial Service Commission had elevated Mr Munamato Mutevedzi from being the provincial magistrate in charge of Harare Province to the position of deputy chief magistrate.
Mrs Marehwanazvo Gofa took over leadership of magistrates in Harare Province while three other magistrates were promoted to regional magistrates.
Mr Walter Chikwanha is now a regional magistrate and seconded to operate from the Supreme Court as chief registrar. Mrs Sandra Mupindu and Mr Allex Shumba were also elevated to regional magistrates.
Judicial Service Commission secretary Justice Rita Makarau said the appointment of the deputy chief magistrate and the three regional magistrates were effective from December 17.
JSC has also effected changes on the magistrates' heads in two other provinces.
Mr Sikhumbuzo Nyathi is now provincial magistrate in charge of Mashonaland East while Mr Elisha Singano now heads Mashonaland Central.