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Rita Makarau

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Rita Makarau
Born Rita Munemo
(1960-12-07) December 7, 1960 (age 56)
  • Chairperson
  • Judge
Employer Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
Known for Being the first woman Judge President of Zimbabwe
Spouse(s) Amos Makarau

Rita Makarau is a Zimbabwean female judge and the chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. She is the first female Judge President of Zimbabwe. Makarau is also the Electoral Commissions Forum-SADC President.


Rita Makarau was born Rita Munemo on 7 December 1960. [1] She is married to director of meteorological services Amos Makarau and together they have a daughter who is also a lawyer.[2]


Makarau attended Donbrooke Primary School in Mabvuku for her primary education before proceeding to Goromonzi High School. In 1982, Makarau graduated from the University of Zimbabwe with a Bachelor of Laws Degree before graduating with an Honours Degree in 1983.[1]


Between 1983 and 1984, Makarau, worked as a Public Prosecutor at the Harare magistrates court before going into private practice. During her private practice years, Makarau worked for Kantor and Immerman legal practitioners. Makarau had her first case at the age of 24. From 1988 to 1989 Makarau was the Secretary of Legal Affairs at the Parastatal Commission. From 1998 to 2000 she served in the Constitutional Commission[3] before she was appointed High Court Judge in December 2000. In 2006, she assumed the position of Judge President becoming the first female to assume the role. In May 2010, she was appointed a Supreme Court Judge and was replaced by former Zimbabwe Electoral Commission chairman George Chiweshe.[1] In 2013, the principals of the Government of National Unity chose her to be the chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.[4]

Makarau was also a part time lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe. She taught procedural law, conveyancing law and notarial law.

Landmark Rulings

In January 2006 Margaret Dongo was turned away by the Registrar General’s Office while seeking to obtain a passport for her child Kudakwashe Norman on the basis that she could not assist the child to obtain a passport, as she was not the natural guardian of the child. Makarau granted Dongo the authority to assist her minor child to obtain a passport without the presence and the authority of the child's father. The ruling overruled a High court judgment that said Dongo was not authorised by law to assist her child get a passport without the aid of the father.[5]

Latest News

High Court postpones hearing on MDC-T challenge to President Mugabe’s voter registratiuon dates 19 Sep 2017

Mugabe is a dangerous tribalist, he can unleash genocide on Karangas for opposing him – Mujuru 19 Sep 2017

ZEC Biometric Voter Registration machines malfunctioning 19 Sep 2017

Four men sentenced to 2-years in prison for smuggling 416 bales of second-hand clothing 19 Sep 2017

“Green Bombers” to go for martial arts training in South Korea 19 Sep 2017

More News Headlines

Vote Rigging Allegations

After the 2013 elections, Makarau was accused by Movement for Democratic Change - Tsvangirayi (MDC-T) of being biased towards Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party and failing to stop vote rigging.[6]


  • Makarau did not want to be a lawyer- after high school she wanted to study sociology and her father wanted her to be a nurse. She however did law since she had passed her Advanced Level studies well.[2]

Latest Profiles


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 , Rita Makarau's profile:Zimbabwe first female Judge President, iHarare, published: August 30, 2013, retrieved: June 23, 2016
  2. 2.0 2.1 ,Chengetai Zvauya, I'm a true African woman, Daily News, published: August 18, 2014, retrieved: June 22, 2016
  3. , Farai Share, Makarau to head the ZEC, Herald, published: February 19, 2013, retrieved: June 23, 2016
  4. , Rita Makarau for Zec top post, NewsDay, published: February 20, 2013, retrieved: June 23, 2016
  5. , Landmark Ruling For Zimbabwe Women, The Zimbabwe Daily, published: June 3, 2010, retrieved: June 22, 2016
  6. , I’m in a hot seat, says ZEC boss Makarau, The Zimbabwean, published: June 23, 2016, retrieved: June 23, 2016