Gweru mayoral mansion for High Court
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