Monday, 29 January 2018


A BULAWAYO High Court judge, Justice Nokuthula Moyo, has bemoaned the increase in violent deaths suffered at the hands of close relatives.

Officially opening the Gweru High Court Circuit yesterday, Justice Moyo said even drinking holes which should be places for people to get merry had turned into slaughter houses, as people are killed following petty issues or squabbles.

“Violence, domestic or otherwise, dominates our news headlines nowadays,” she said. “It is worrying how violent society has suddenly become and loss of life through violence within families is now a major cause of concern. Love triangles, spousal misunderstandings, parent-child disputes many a time end in tragedy. There is need in our society for those in the fields of psychology to study the current volatility in families and assist by coming up with ways that will help families resolve disputes.”

Justice Moyo said deterrent sentences had indeed been passed in appropriate cases, but had failed to curtail the vice in society. She said petty disputes resulted in an unnecessary loss of life either through murder, or suicide.

“We now have this evil in the form of domestic violence staring us in our faces and all of us, the courts, its stakeholders and the society at large have a duty to do something about this never ending problem,” she said. Strategies, Justice Moyo said, have to be devised to address the underlying causes of violence and to come up with an effective plan for preventing violence in communities.

“Beer drinks have also become another breeding ground for violence resulting in deaths,” she said. “These should be places of relaxation and merrymaking, but the reality of the situation is that these have become places of slaughter with people resorting to killing each other upon the slightest of misunderstandings.”

Justice Moyo said courts had repeatedly bemoaned loss of life through violence and called on society to look for ways of curbing violence. “But it appears violence in our society is still carrying on like wild veld fire,” she said. “Perhaps mechanisms should be devised which seek to cure this problem within society.

“As courts, we deal with the end result, but perhaps strategies that address the cause should be implemented. The court will sit for 10 days in the two weeks that the circuit court operates and it is mission impossible to hear 22 murder cases in 10 days. Of the 22 cases, one has eight accused persons, this in essence means that it’s a single case that needs the same amount of time as eight single cases.
“We accordingly send out a plea to the authorities that be to speed up the setting of a permanent High Court station in this town.” Chronicle


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