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Rural Mat North folk travel 200km to seek justice; New court opened at Lupane to bring relief, says Chief Justice

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By Bulawayo Correspondent


MATEBELELAND NORTH is the only province in the country with the least number of courtrooms, amid revelations litigants travel more than 200 kilometres to access justice.

Officially opening the Lupane Magistrates Court in the province Friday, Chief Justice Luke Malaba, who was the guest of honour, expressed concern over long distances travelled by people seeking in the province.

“The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) is aware of the fact that currently there are only four magistrates courts stations in Matebeleland North situated in Victoria Falls, Hwange, Binga and Lupane. The province has the least number of courtrooms compared to other provinces in the country,” he said.

“This is so notwithstanding the fact that it is a big province, meaning that people have to travel long distances to access the nearest courthouse.

“One needs only to note that from Hwange to Binga one travels 209 kilometres while from Hwange to Lupane is distance of 165 kilometres.”

Malaba said the JSC was greatly concerned about the burdened citizens and had sought to bring relief.

“The JSC is disturbed by such long distances between the courtrooms because they signify the distances that litigants may have to travel the courts.

“This is a situation that calls for the JSC’s intervention, which should consider having a residents magistrates courts at Dete where a circuit court is currently operating,” said Malaba.

The top jurist highlighted that the JSC was also currently considering setting up another courtroom at Kamativi.

The construction of the Lupane Magistrates Courts started two years ago.

Before the construction of the new and spacious infrastructure, the building had three offices belonging to the district administrator.