Mary Zimba-Dube
Photo of Mary Zimba-Dube
Appointed byPresident Robert Mugabe

Mary Zimba-Dube is a Zimbabwean lawyer and a judge of the High Court of Zimbabwe. She was appointed by President Robert Mugabe in 2011. Before her appointment as a High Court judge, Justice Mary Zimba-Dube was President of the Administrative Court, since her appointment in 2004


Acting Judge President

On 29 June 2021, Mary Zimba Dube was appointed as Acting Judge President. The appointment was criticised by lawyers as unconstitutional according to section 181(2)(a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe.

The section states: “If the office of Judge President of the High Court… is vacant or if the office holder is unable to perform the functions of that office, the next most senior judge of the court concerned acts as the Judge President.”

At the time of Mary Zimba Dube's appointment as Acting Judge President, Justice Garainesu Mawadze of the Masvingo High Court was the most senior High Court judge followed by Justice Martin Makonese of the Bulawayo High Court with Justice Dube only third.

Professor Lovemore Madhuku said the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) could not appoint an Acting Judge President saying:

“The JSC cannot appoint an Acting Judge President. It’s a very serious scandal in itself because it has no power to do that. If the president had made the appointment, we would also ask what instrument he used."

Madhuku said whereas section 340 allows the president to make appointments, it also states that he can only do so in cases “except as otherwise provided in this constitution,” and section 181(2)(a) under which the JSC said it was acting was a “default position”.

JSC secretary Walter Chikwana said Justice Mary Zimba Dube was appointed Acting Judge President because she was the most senior at the High Court in Harare at the time and Mawadze was in Masvingo.

Another lawyer said the constitution states that the next most senior judge should be appointed the Judge President not ‘provided such a judge is stationed at Harare.’[1]

Judge President

Mary Zimba-Dube was appointed as the new Judge President on 25 July 2021 becoming the second woman to occupy the top High Court office after Justice Rita Makarau.[2] Zimba-Dube was sworn in on 27 July 2021 by Luke Malaba

Notable Rulings

Covid-19 Information

On 21 January 2021, Mary Zimba-Dube ordered Health and Information ministers to widely disseminate “comprehensive and adequate information” on private and public testing, isolation and treatment of the Covid-19 pandemic.[3]


  1. JSC sparks new row over Acting Judge President after third in line picked, ZimLive, Published: July 6, 2021, Retrieved: July 10, 2021
  2. Fidelis Munyoro, President makes key appointments, The Herald, Published: July 26, 2021, Retrieved: July 26, 2021
  3. TheNewsHawks, Twitter, Published: February 1, 2021, Retrieved: July 26, 2021