Rita Makarau quits Judicial Service Commission

February 9, 2018
| Report Focus News

(JSC) acting secretary Justice Rita Makarau has stepped down from her post with immediate effect.

Sources in the JSC say Makarau, who was pushed out of her position as Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairperson in December, threw in the towel after enduring a series of frustrations at the commission

Makarau reverts back to the bench where she will serve as a Supreme Court judge. The Zimbabwe Independent in December reported that there were moves to push Makarau out of the JSC.

A senior official in the judiciary that time said she was being targeted because of her perceived close links with former president Robert Mugabe.

The JSC position is important because it deals with the administrative affairs of the country’s judicial system and issues to do with salaries.

In a statement released yesterday, the JSC said Makarau requested to step down as acting secretary and to return to the Supreme Court bench.

“At its meeting of 8 February 2018, the Commission resolved to accept Justice Makarau’s request to step down as acting secretary and allow her to resume her duties as judge of the Supreme Court and Constitutional Court with effect from Monday 12 February 2018,” reads the JSC statement.

The Commission said it was resolved that Walter Chikwana will be the acting secretary until further notice while the rest of the JSC secretariat remained unchanged until further notice.

During the race to succeed the late retired chief justice Godfrey Chidyausiku, Makarau was the preferred candidate of Zanu PF’s G40 faction which had coalesced around former first lady Grace Mugabe.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s faction — which eventually won Zanu PF’s protracted succession battle with the help of the military — preferred Judge President George Chiweshe.

Mugabe eventually appointed Chief Justice Luke Malaba, who came out tops in interviews conducted by the JSC with a score of 91%. Makarau scored 90% in the public interviews.