Gweru may­oral man­sion for High Court

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Pa­trick Chi­tumba Mid­lands Bureau Chief

THE Ju­di­cial Ser­vice Com­mis­sion (JSC) has ap­proached Gweru City Coun­cil (GCC) with a re­quest to lease the may­oral man­sion as a per­ma­nent High Court.

The JSC plans to open the fourth High Court in the Mid­lands pro­vin­cial cap­i­tal months af­ter open­ing an­other one in Masvingo, the third af­ter the Harare and Bulawayo High Courts.

The Gweru may­oral man­sion, which is lo­cated in the leafy sub­urb of Kopje in Gweru East, has been ly­ing idle for eight years.

The chair­per­son of the com­mis­sion run­ning the af­fairs of the cash-strapped coun­cil, Mr Tsunga Mhangami said they were con­sid­er­ing the JSC’s re­quest.

“We now have three coun­cil­lors who can de­lib­er­ate on the mat­ter. What we want to do is dis­cuss this with coun­cil­lors be­fore the res­i­dents chip in with their views. How­ever, it is of ut­most im­por­tance that the man­sion be utilised so that coun­cil re­alises some rev­enue from the build­ing. It makes no sense to keep the build­ing as it is with­out us gen­er­at­ing any­thing when it can be leased out to the JSC,” he said.

He said coun­cil was go­ing all out to max­imise on any busi­ness op­por­tu­nity to make ex­tra cash.

With­out a per­ma­nent court in Gweru for now, the High Court comes on cir­cuit to the city for two weeks.

The next Gweru High Court cir­cuit will run from Septem­ber 26 to Oc­to­ber 7 with 17 mur­der cases hav­ing been set down.

The turn­ing of the Gweru may­oral man­sion into a High Court will bring jus­tice close to the peo­ple.

The prop­erty was con­structed in the late 1990s and has been ly­ing idle since 2008 when the then ex­ec­u­tive mayor, Mr Ses­sel Zvidzai, va­cated it when his term lapsed.

Coun­cil has in the past tried to lease out the prop­erty for $3 000 per month but it found no tak­ers.

Sus­pended mayor Ha­mu­tendi Kom­bayi’s led coun­cil last year re­solved to turn the prop­erty into a lodge but noth­ing ma­te­ri­alised. — @pchi­tumba1

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