Govt Decentralises Courts

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By Mary Taruvinga

JUSTICE minister Ziyambi Ziyambi has opened more courts in Harare and Bulawayo’s high-density suburbs as part of the government’s efforts to decentralise judiciary services.
According to notices issued in the Government Gazette Friday, Harare and Bulawayo suburbs, Epworth, Glen Norah, Budiriro, Entumbane and Nkulumane now have their own magistrates courts in terms of SI 192 of 2021.
Reads one of the notices: “It is hereby notified that the minister of Justice Legal and Parliamentary Affairs has in terms of section 4(3) of the Magistrate’s Court Act (Chapter 7:10)hereby makes the folly notice, this notice may be cited as Magistrates’ Court Resident Court Epworth Notice 2021. Epworth is hereby designated as a Resident Court for Harare province.”
ln the wake of Covid-19, some people failed to make it to court due to travelling issues following restrictions on traveling.
This resulted in many people being issues with arrest warrants.
The opening of more courts coincides with the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) plans to establish a High Court seats in other towns.
Speaking recently during the official opening of Chinhoyi court, Justice minister said government prioritises citizens’ easy access to justice which is one of the pillars of President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration’s economic blueprint, National Development Strategy (NDS 1) that runs until 2025.
“I have been briefed that we have a High Court here. We are excited, and our aim is to have them in all our provincial capitals,” said Ziyambi.
“We used to have a concentration of courts in a few areas and these regional courts would be crowded,” he said.
There are also plans to introduce virtual courts with plans being reported to be at advanced stages.
The JSC also introduced electronic case management in a bid to improve service delivery.
The introduction of more courts is also expected to assist in clearing the backlog.
In assessing the court’s performance early this year former Chief Justice Luke Malaba said the backlog for the legal year 2020 decreased by 76%.