By Mary Taruvinga
CHIEF Magistrate Faith Mushure has said the Judiciary Services Commission (JSC) is investigating misconduct and corruption allegations among rogue magistrates.
She was speaking during the swearing in of 11 new magistrates in Harare Friday.
Mushure said a vibrant committee will be set up to help fight any form of corruption within the justice system.
“We have a vibrant complaints handling system in place. Whenever we receive complaints of corruption we don’t slip anything under the carpet, we ensure that appropriate investigations are carried out. Currently we have a member who is undergoing investigations and trial for forging some deceased’s estate documents so we take cases and corruption reports seriously,” she said.
“We have also adopted the same attitude of zero tolerance at corruption which has been adopted at national level so the gospel is the same, we are putting hands together against corruption as the JSC. We are making sure that all cases of corruption against magistrates are investigated and we will leave no stone unturned,” said Mushure.
She said the JSC is also working on upgrading and expanding its courts across the country.
“Various projects are being carried out in Lupane the court is about to be completed soon, in Gwanda we also have projects being administered and Glennorah, Epworth we have engaged the City of Harare to provide the land so that we can build more courts,” Mushure said.
She said that they have opened regional courts in Zvishavane, Mt Darwin and are also increasing regional magistrates in all the areas that have regional courts.
Mushure also said the JSC has been experiencing shortages of magistrates with some stations operating with only one magistrates.
“There has been shortages of Magistrates in various stations such as Mberengwa, Lupane and Mwenezi and the newly appointed Magistrates has been deployed to such stations,” she said.
“Each station is now going to be run by more than one Magistrate unlike before where one station would be run by just one Magistrate.
“These 11 new magistrates will bring the total to 247 magistrates in Zimbabwe. We now have two or more magistrates per station as we used to have one magistrate per some stations like Lupane, Mberengwa and Mwenezi,” Mushure said.
She also said some of the magistrates left work for greener pastures, which explains why the JSC is calling for better remuneration for its workers.