Only 14 labour court judges serving millions of Zim workers

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By Idah Mhetu

MILLIONS of Zimbabwean workers are being served by a tiny complement of 14 Labour Court judges in a bare testimony of the critical shortage of senior court staff to preside over labour based cases.

This was revealed Monday by President Emmerson Mnangagwa while officially opening the labour Court in Harare.

There are only three labour courts manned by just 14 judges in the entire country.

Said the President, “It is disheartening that Zimbabweans are served by only three labour court stations and only 14 in Harare, Bulawayo and Gweru. My government will seek to resolve and push for justice and transparency in all courts.”

Mnangagwa, a former justice minister, said his government will try and reinvigorate the labour court system to allow faster processing of labour disputes.

He also urged the judiciary to establish regional labour courts to allow greater access by ordinary workers outside the three main cities.

The Zanu PF leader also pledged his government’s commitment to revising the country’s labour laws.

“My government will also continuously revise the labour laws and to make sure that the courts are serving the interests of the people,” he said.

“I exhort the judicial system to decentralise the labour courts. All state institutions must be available in every province to allow equitable development.”

Mnangagwa said the opening of the labour court was in line with his Zimbabwe is open for business mantra and the ease of doing business.

The new labour court in Harare now has more spacious offices, enough to accommodate its staff as well as key stakeholders who include police, the Deputy Sheriff and an information technology hub.

For years, the labour court has been operating from a small office in the CBD.

President Mnanagwa urged the judiciary to ensure local courts were free of any corruption while promising his government will push towards the achievement of transparency and justice in all courts.