Monday, 30 May 2016


Zimbabwe's third High Court has been officially opened in Masvingo, making it the first to be opened after independence.

Zimbabwe has been operating with two permanent high courts in Harare and Bulawayo which were built before independence.

122 years later, the country has added another high court in Masvingo Province with expectations that all the country's 10 provinces will eventually have a high court of their own.
Officially opening the Masvingo High Court, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa said the government endeavors to ensure that justice is accessible to all the people without exception.

"The establishment of the new court here will undoubtedly reduce the back log of cases in the province. Previously, people had to travel to Harare or Bulawayo high courts for cases," said Cde Mnangagwa.

Masvingo Province has been recording the highest number of murder cases for the past few years, a situation which Cde Mnangagwa said is deplorable, adding that the cases will now be attended to on time.

"It has currently been observed that Masvingo Province records the highest number of murder cases year in year out. You can't have such a record, we are all ashamed. This high court here will see the fast conclusion of some of these murder cases," said Cde Mnangagwa.

Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku said the Judiciary Services Commission (JSC) used limited resources for the establishment of the Masvingo High Court.

He added that while Midlands Province has the highest backlog of cases, Masvingo was given first priority as there were already premises which they renovated to establish the high court.

"Due to limited resources, we realised that we could not set up courts at all the centres but because we had premises in Masvingo, it will be better to start here as we had just to renovate the magistrates court," said Chief Justice Chidyausiku.

People in the province were in some instances abandoning cases due to the long distance they would have to travel to access the high courts.

Meanwhile, legal experts are calling for an the adequate provision of resources in the chain of the justice delivery system which includes the police, the courts and correctional services to ensure effective service.

A lawyer, Nelson Chamisa said without enough resources, corruption will continue bedeviling the sector.

Another lawyer and anti-corruption activist, Advocate Dumisani Mthombeni said a clampdown on corruption must be prioritised.

JSC Secretary, Justice Rita Makarau said they are geared to fight corruption by putting in place control measures which will involve public participation in fighting the scourge within the justice delivery system.


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