The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has appointed Justices Joseph Mafusire and Garainesu Mawadze as resident judges at the recently commissioned Masvingo High Court. The appointments are with effect from September 1.
This brings to an end the search for judges to man the first ever High Court to be opened in Masvingo in post-independence Zimbabwe.
Masvingo became the third city to house the High Court after Harare and Bulawayo and the newly-opened court was operating without judges since its official opening on May 30 by Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who also oversees the Ministry of Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
JSC secretary Justice Rita Makarau yesterday confirmed the appointment of two resident judges to man the new Masvingo High Court.
“We have nominated Justice Mafusire and Justice Mawadze to be resident judges at the Masvingo High Court and they will start work at their new station on September 1.
“We are busy looking at the issue of their accommodation right now. They will be starting work at the beginning of September when the third quarter of the High Court legal year starts,’’ she said.
“So far, a few estates from people around Masvingo have been registered at the Masvingo High Court where the Master of High Court office is open,’’ she added.
The opening of the Masvingo High Court is expected to drastically reduce the runaway backlog of cases while improving justice delivery in the province and beyond.
The JSC upgraded the former Masvingo Civil Court into a permanent High Court station that will cater for Masvingo Province and parts of Matabeleland South and Manicaland provinces.
Masvingo High Court was the first to be opened in post-independence Zimbabwe with the last one having been last opened by white colonial settlers in Bulawayo in 1894.
The opening is part of the ongoing decentralisation of High Court services in Zimbabwe.
Justice Makarau revealed that plans were afoot to open a fourth High Court station in Mutare where the process to acquire a building to house the superior court were underway.
“Once the acquisition process is complete, we will begin renovations and we hope that the Mutare High Court will open its doors in the second quarter of next year,’’ said Justice Makarau.
Speaking at the official opening of the Masvingo High Court, Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku said many people from remote areas were abandoning their cases because of the challenges in accessing High Court services in Harare and Bulawayo.
He said the opening of the new High Court station would reduce the costs of travelling for litigants from remote areas. Herald