By Felix Matasva
MUTARE Magistrates Courts have temporarily been closed for two days to pave way for fumigation and contact tracing after eight prosecutors based there tested Covid-19 positive.
Inside sources at the courts told NewZimbabwe.com there is a severe shortage of prosecutors due to the outbreak of Covid-19.
“We have eight prosecutors who are not reporting to work due to Covid-19. The courts are now overwhelmed with cases and this will result in a backlog,” the source said.
The Judicial Services Commission (JSC) head of corporate services Constance Makoni-Thodhlana Wednesday confirmed to NewZimbabwe.com that Mutare Civil and Criminal courts would be closed to pave way for fumigation of premises.
“Mutare Civil and Criminal courts have been temporarily shut down to pave way for fumigation Wednesday and where Covid-19 cases have been confirmed,” said Makoni-Thodhlana.
The JSC Wednesday also released a statement indicating a temporary shutdown of its head office in Harare and other various magistrate courts dotted around the country after employees tested Covid-19 positive.
The JSC said the temporary closure of the courts Wednesday and Thursday was aimed at making way for fumigation of the premises, testing, contact tracing, and adherence of all Covid-19 protocols to avert the spread of Covid-19.
“The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) announces the temporary closure of the following offices and courthouses due to confirmation of Covid-19 cases: The Head Office in Harare and the following Magistrates’ Courts: Harare Civil and Criminal (Rotten Row) Courts; Tredgold Court in Bulawayo; Gweru Criminal; Gwanda Civil and Criminal Courts; Plumtree; Mutawatawa; Shurugwi; Chitungwiza; Goromonzi; Norton; Rusape; Chegutu; Inyathi; Kadoma; Mbare; and Mutare Civil and Criminal courts,” reads part of the statement.
“All matters set down for Wednesday, 8 December 2021 are automatically rolled over to Friday, 10 December 2021 while those set down for Thursday, 9 December 2021 are automatically rolled over to Monday, 13 December 2021. We kindly ask members of the public to bear with us.”