Zimbabwe Makes History with First Female Attorney General

Mrs Virginia Mabhiza is a seasoned legal practitioner with experience in civil and criminal litigation

by Motoni Olodun

Zimbabwe has made history by appointing its first female Attorney General, Mrs Virginia Mabhiza, who will take office starting November 1. Mrs Mabhiza is a seasoned legal practitioner with experience in civil and criminal litigation. She has held the Secretary for Justice, Legal, and Parliamentary Affairs post since 2013 and has represented the country at various local, regional, and international forums on matters of justice.

Mrs Mabhiza also served as Secretary for Constitutional Affairs during the Inclusive Government, where she superintended the COPAC-led Constitution-making process that resulted in adopting a new constitution in 2013. The constitution ushered in a new era of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law in Zimbabwe.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa announced the appointment of Mrs. Mabhiza as part of a series of key appointments to strengthen various sectors and ensure efficient governance and policy implementation across the country. The President also appointed Dr. Joram Gumbo as Special Advisor to the President responsible for Monitoring the Implementation of Government Programmes, Dr Agnes Mahomva as Public Health Advisor to the President and Cabinet, and Mr Mike Madiro as Chairperson of the National Railways of Zimbabwe Board.

The appointment of Mrs Mabhiza as Attorney General has been widely welcomed by various stakeholders, including civil society, legal experts, women’s rights activists, and political parties. They hailed it as a milestone achievement for gender equality and women’s empowerment in Zimbabwe.

According to the World Bank, Zimbabwe has one of the highest rates of female participation in the labor force in Africa, at 52 percent. However, women still face challenges accessing leadership positions, especially in the legal sector. According to a 2019 report by the International Commission of Jurists, only 15 percent of judges in Zimbabwe are women.

The appointment of Mrs. Mabhiza as Attorney General is expected to inspire more women to pursue careers in law and justice and to contribute to the development and reform of the legal system in Zimbabwe. Mrs. Mabhiza has expressed her gratitude to the President for entrusting her with this important role and pledged to uphold the constitution and serve the nation with integrity and professionalism.

Mrs Mabhiza’s appointment comes at a time when Zimbabwe is undergoing a process of economic recovery and social transformation under the Second Republic led by President Mnangagwa. The President has vowed to implement political and economic reforms that will improve the lives of Zimbabweans and restore the country’s image on the global stage. The appointment of Mrs Mabhiza as Attorney General clearly indicates the President’s commitment to promoting gender equality and women’s rights as part of his vision for a prosperous and democratic Zimbabwe.

Source: The Herald

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