CHIEF Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku yesterday urged Government officials, politicians and traditional leaders to desist from looting and abusing development funds, saying such improper conduct had the effect of stalling the country’s development.
While officially opening the Goromonzi Magistrates’ Court building, the outgoing head of the Judiciary said greediness by Government officials, school authorities, councillors and traditional leaders entrusted with development funds from either the Treasury or cooperating partners, was hampering progress in Zimbabwe.
“Integrity in the utilisation of available resources, whether they be from Treasury or from cooperating partners is imperative if we are to make meaningful progress in any sector.
“The idea of pocketing the bulk or any of the proceeds of development money must be a thing of the past. Here I am talking about local leaders here present, (councillors, village heads and schools heads) and am challenging you to have the interests of your people at heart.
“If your areas are to develop, you must also develop with them, but if you are the only one developing, you are unlikely to enjoy your ill-gotten wealth openly amidst surrounding poverty.
“I am also addressing all the Government officials here present,” the Chief Justice said.
Chief Justice Chiduyausiku, who is due to retire next February, said he had learnt a lot from the Judicial Service Commission’s successful partnership with the Royal Danish Embassy that saw the construction of 22 new courthouses countrywide.
Danida is closing down its offices in Zimbabwe and most Southern African states by December 31 this year.
The partnership, according to the Chief Justice, was a success and he attributed the achievements to transparency and accountability.
“We hope that as they (Danida) pull out, our conduct in the utilisation of the aid given to us has demonstrated not only our honesty and integrity, but also our shrewdness in identifying where help was most needed.
“I think we have done enough to convince other potential funding partners who may have been sitting on the fence to come on board.
“I assure you that whatever assistance you give us will be put to good use in a transparent manner and will be accounted for fully,” he said.
The Judiciary Service Commission (JSC), at the same occasion, launched its five-year plan dubbed the “JSC 2016-2020 Strategic Plan).
The plan was launched at the expiry of the first plan dubbed the “2012 to 2016 Strategic Plan” in which JSC achieved over 80 percent of its goals and objectives.
The new plan outlines the Chief Justice’s dream for the commission in the next five years.
“Encouraged by the success recorded through the implementation of the first strategic plan, the commission has crafted the second five-year plan.
“Through this second plan, our strategy is to ride on the successes scored in the first phase, consolidating the gains and at the same time using it to correct any mistakes we may have made when we implemented the first strategic plan,” the Chief Justice said.
Since June 2010, when JSC was given its expanded mandate to be the employer of all people in the judiciary and to administer the courts of law, great strides have been made.
Royal Danish Embassy Charge d’ Affaires Mrs Signe Winding Albjerg described the partnership as a success.
“I am very pleased to be here today with our partner, JSC, and to be able to say: We did it! And we did it together!
“Today we are not only celebrating the opening of the Goromonzi Magistrates’ Court.
“We are celebrating the achievements from four years of partnership between Denmark and the JSC.
“Four years later, I believe that our partnership has exceeded the ambitious goals we committed to in 2012,” Mrs Albjerg said. herald