By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent
SOME members of the public do not value the sanctity of life as shown by the high number of murder cases that will be heard at the new Chinhoyi High Court during the 2022 legal year, a top jurist has said.
Judge President of the High Court of Zimbabwe, Justice Mary Dube said the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) had set down for trial 19 murder cases drawn from Chinhoyi, Kadoma, Karoi, Mutorashanga, Zvimba, Chemagamba, Magunje, Kariba, Mhangura, and Kenzamba.
Dube was addressing guests attending the official opening of the 2022 Legal Year at Chinhoyi High Court station Monday.
Dube said: “The number of cases is high and is testimony that the sanctity of life is not important to others as precious life is unnecessarily lost. Nonetheless, be rest assured that my fellow Honourable Judge shall deal decisively with the matters.”
The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has deployed Justice Philda Muzofa to the Chinhoyi High Court station on a permanent basis with effect from January 1, 2022, and she becomes the pioneer judge.
The superior court, which was officially opened by President Emmerson Mnangagwa in September last year, is ready to commence sittings.
Dube said Covid-19 had disrupted court operations for the previous two years.
“2020 and 2021 saw a hiatus in our operations due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) that has ravaged many nations globally and did not spare us either. Its attendant devastating effects have caused massive disruptions in our court sittings.
“As you recall, the nation was put on lockdown as authorities sought to contain the spread of the deadly virus. There were a series of start-stops to our court sittings and adjudication of matters was disrupted. Cumulatively, the courts lost six months of court operations as nothing was happening in the courts except for new cases and urgent matters,” said Dube.
The event was held under the theme, “Use Of Technology To Enhance Efficiency And The Rule Of Law In The Judiciary”, which dovetails with the imminent launch of the Integrated Electronic Case Management System (IECMS) in the Constitutional, Supreme, and Commercial Court Division of the High Court.