Priscilla Chigumba

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Priscilla Chigumba
Justice Priscilla Chigumba.JPG
  • High Court Judge
Known forBeing A High Court Judge, Chairperson of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission
PredecessorRita Makarau

Justice Priscilla Chigumba is a judge of the High Court of Zimbabwe and the Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC). Justice Chigumba succeded Justice Rita Makarau as the chairperson of ZEC. Chigumba was appointed the chairperson of ZEC on 31 January 2018.

Personal Details

Marriage: and divorced to Mac Christopher Chigumba Jnr. The two have four children including a daughter named Mukai. [1] [2]

School / Education

Secondary: Goromonzi High School for her O level and then later proceded to St Ignatius High School and obtained 15 Advanced Level points in 1989.
Tertiary: Bachelor of Law degree at Kings College, London in the United Kingdom. [3]


After graduating she joined Gollop and Blank law firm in 1994. She practiced 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. 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. She was sworn in as Justice of the High Court on 20 December 2012, by former president Robert Mugabe during the Government of National Unity era. [3]

Justice Chigumba succeded Justice Rita Makarau as the chairperson of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission. Chigumba was appointed the chairperson of ZEC on 31 January 2018.


Suspending the police ban on demonstrations

In 2016 Chigumba reversed a two-week ban on protests issued by the police citing the deteriorating security situation. [4].Police had issued the controversial Statutory Instrument 101 A of 2016 which imposed a ban on all protests in Harare Central policing area.The ban triggered a court challenge filed by PDP leader and lawyer Tendai Biti on behalf of the opposition parties coalescing under the National Electoral Reform Agenda (NERA).In her ruling, High Court judge Priscilla Chigumba said the freezing of the police ban was for seven days.

Allegations of soliciting for a $20 000 bribe

It was alleged that Justice Priscilla Chigumba solicited for a $20 000 bribe from one of the parties in a case she was presiding over. Justice Chigumba was grilled by members of the JSC led by Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku over a complaint that it received to the effect that the judge had sent an agent to solicit for a bribe from a Mr Kanokanga who was one of the parties in a case in which she was presiding over.

Justice Chidyausiku said the JSC had received a written complaint from Mr Kanokanga and said while they had asked Justice Chigumba to make a written response, she was obliged to comment on the allegations since the commission was troubled over the allegations given that she was now seeking higher office. [5]

Mawarire clearance

Justice Chigumba cleared Evan Mawarire, the well-known pastor, activist, and leader of #ThisFlag citizens’ campaign, who shot to prominence in 2016. He had been accused of attempting to overthrow the government and inciting others to commit public violence. Justice Chigumba found in November 2017, that there was no evidence that Mawarire had tried to overthrow the government or the use of violence but that he had urged peace at all times during his campaigns. [6]


Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association awarded Justice Chugumba in 2011 with the Women Human Rights Defender Award [7] Other legal practitioner recipients of the award include Justice Emilia Muchawa, Nyaradzayi Gumbonzvanda, Justice Rita Makarau and Professor J Stewart and Jessie Majome.

Accusations of bias & rigging in July 2018 Elections

Priscilla Chigumba Wearing Mnagagwa Scarf.jpg

In June 2018, Chigumba was generally accused of being biased for Zanu-PF and Emmerson Mnangagwa by Zimbabweans especially on social media following the circulation of a picture of her wearing a Zimbabwe Flag scarf. The Zimbabwe Electoral Commission dismissed the photo as fake and photoshopped:

Desperate criminal political malcontents are on overdrive manufacturing fake news about Zec. Today a fake ballot paper design was circulated and later a Photoshop of Zec chairperson wearing a scarf associated with one political party. This is obviously being done by criminal political elements to destabilise the election process. These people have nothing to say because the process is running smoothly and they want to disturb it. In both instances it was fake news and the public must dismiss it with the contempt it deserves. [8]

In October 2019 prominent journalist Edmund Kudzayi has released a video on how the 2018 election was possibly rigged by Emmerson Mnangagwa with Chigumba's assistance.

2023 ZEC Delimitation Report

In February 2023, the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) was urged to make it clear whether the delimitation report it submitted to President Emmerson Mnangagwa was final or not. When ZEC chair Justice Priscilla Chigumba submitted the report to Mnangagwa at State House, she revealed that the document was the final delimitation report and said she expected the President to gazette the report within 14 days. However, government spokesperson Ndavaningi Mangwana, Mnangagwa’s spokesperson George Charamba, and the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Ziyambi Ziyambi said the report was not final.

ZEC failed to respond to questions. Spokesperson Jasper Mangwana referred the question to Justice Priscilla Chigumba. However her office gave no response, despite repeatedly promising to do so. ZEC chief elections officer Uitloile Silaigwana requested the question in writing but had not responded. Chief director for presidential communications, Anyway Mutambudzi said ZEC should respond on whether the report submitted to Mnangagwa was final or not. Constitutional lawyer Lovemore Madhuku said it is critical for ZEC to state its position on the report. Said Madhuku: Whether the report submitted is final or not should not be a private issue. Everyone at ZEC, from the messenger to the doorman, should know the exact position on that report. This is a simple issue. That answer is a very critical one that must be given to the public so that they are informed of the correct position. No one must put pressure on the President but on ZEC. It has the mandate to manage elections and not the President. [9]


Justice Chigumba is a reader and a student of the art of war and the laws of power. She reads Shona and English literature, poetry and Shona culture, particularly “Ugo Hwemadzinza evaShona”. Chigumbas' favorite musician is Oliver Mtukudzi and she also listens to Jah Prayzah and Winky D. Her favorite food is sadza nenyama yakagochwa, vegetables, and chilli. [2]


  1. Businessman Chigumba in messy divorce, abandons wife for bar tender, Zim Morning Post, Published: December 3, 2020, Retrieved: January 22, 2021
  2. 2.0 2.1 Chigumba spells out vision , , Published: 10 February 2018 , Retrieved: 12 February 2018
  3. 3.0 3.1 Daniel Nemukuyu, President swears in four judges, Herald, published: December 20, 2012, retrieved: September 8, 2016
  4. [1], JUDGE LIFTS POLICE DEMO BAN, Published: 7th September 2016, Retrieved: 31 January 2018
  5. [2], High Court judge who angered Mugabe by allowing demos now accused of soliciting for a bribe , Published: Sep 30, 2016, Retrieved: 30 January 2018
  6. The New ZEC Chairperson, , Published: 31 January 2018 , Retrieved: 1 February 2018
  7. Women Human Rights Defenders Awards, Zimbabwe Women Lawyers Association, published: November 14, 2014, retrieved: September 19, 2016,
  8. Pamela Shumba/Nqobile Tshili, Fake ballot paper sample in circulation, The Chronicle, Published:23 Jun 2018, Retrieved: 24 Jun 2018
  9. ZEC Urged To State Exact Position On Delimitation Report, Pindula, Published: 13 February 2023, Retrieved: 13 February 2023

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