MASVINGO - Chief Magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe has sworn in Purity Gumbo who will be serving as a magistrate at Masvingo Magistrates Court.
Gumbo was sworn in on Friday and speaking at the occasion Guvamombe advised the new magistrate to keep accurate records, to be professional at all times and to make jail sentences a last resort.
"A magistrates' court is a court of record. As such, all proceedings must be recorded. To that end an accurate record of proceedings must be produced. That will also assist when queries or complaints are made against you. It will also assist those that might want to appeal or have your decisions reviewed," said Guvamombe.
The swearing in ceremony was attended by magistrates from Masvingo Province, lawyers, prosecutors and Gumbo's family members.
"Your sense of justice must be blind to social standing in life, creed or colour. You must be sensitive to particular needs of litigants that appear before you like women, children and the disabled.
"As a judicial officer, you wield a lot of power. Do not be quick to condemn accused persons to imprisonment. Sending someone to prison should be the last option because it has serious consequences on people's lives.
"I encourage you to interrogate other sentencing options before you send someone to prison," added Guvamombe.
Gumbo who becomes the seventh magistrate at Masvingo court was born in 1987 and did her primary education in Harare and went to Marondera for her secondary education.
From 2006 until 2011 she was doing law at the University of Zimbabwe and joined the judiciary soon after completing her degree.
She joined JSC Masvingo in 2016 and has been working in all departments in order to familiarise herself with the courts before her appointment as Magistrate last week.