Govt to set up cor­rup­tion courts

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

THE Gov­ern­ment will set up spe­cial courts for the man­age­ment and trial of cor­rup­tion-re­lated cases in the next six months, Act­ing Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa said yes­ter­day.

Speak­ing in Mvuma where he com­mis­sioned a new mag­is­trates’ court as part of the Gov­ern­ment’s ini­tia­tive to im­prove ac­cess to jus­tice, Cde Mnan­gagwa said stake­hold­ers in the Against Cor­rup­tion To­gether cam­paign had given their in­put on the spe­cial courts which would be com­mis­sioned soon. “Those spe­cial courts must be op­er­a­tional in the first half of 2017. Con­certed ef­forts are re­quired not only in the jus­tice de­liv­ery sec­tor but across all facets of the econ­omy and in both pub­lic and pri­vate sec­tors,” he said.

“We in Gov­ern­ment will never be fa­tigued in that bat­tle as it is the only way in which the eco­nomic re­cov­ery of Zim­babwe can be guar­an­teed.

“Ther­apy of ev­ery ill­ness be­gins with ac­cep­tance of that ill­ness. It is only ac­cep­tance of the re­al­ity of the scourge of cor­rup­tion and the will­ing­ness to openly tackle it that Zim­babwe stands a bet­ter chance of win­ning the bat­tle against it. Gov­ern­ment on its part is ready to sup­port any ini­tia­tive to fight cor­rup­tion.”

Act­ing Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa said the coun­try is com­mit­ted to the Ease of Do­ing Busi­ness re­form agenda which among other is­sues re­quires the ex­pe­di­tious res­o­lu­tion of all com­mer­cial dis­putes par­tic­u­larly at the mag­is­trates’ court level.

To achieve that, he said, Cabi­net has sanc­tioned the amend­ment of var­i­ous pieces of leg­is­la­tion like the Mag­is­trates Court Act and the Small Claims Court Act which will des­ig­nate ev­ery Mag­is­trate’s Court as a Com­mer­cial Court and Small Claims Court re­spec­tively.

“This how­ever, can­not be achieved with the short­age of ju­di­cial of­fi­cers ob­tain­ing in the coun­try at the mo­ment. This new court­house for ex­am­ple has two court­rooms but the sta­tion only has one mag­is­trate. It is nec­es­sary there­fore that the num­ber of mag­is­trates be in­creased sig­nif­i­cantly to com­ple­ment the ef­forts be­ing made to im­prove the Ease of Do­ing Busi­ness,” the Act­ing Pres­i­dent said.

He said the gov­ern­ment takes pride in the ini­tia­tives by the Ju­di­ciary Ser­vices Com­mis­sion (JSC) which neatly dove­tail into the eco­nomic blueprint, Zim-As­set de­signed to im­prove the qual­ity of life of the or­di­nary Zim­bab­weans in all facets of their ex­is­tence, be it le­gal, so­cio- eco­nomic or po­lit­i­cal.

“The con­struc­tion of this court­house falls into the in­fras­truc­ture and util­i­ties clus­ter of the pro­gramme. Some may view Zim-As­set as a mys­te­ri­ous pro­gramme yet it is our home-grown so­lu­tion to the eco­nomic chal­lenges the coun­try is ex­pe­ri­enc­ing. It calls for the full util­i­sa­tion of all pos­si­ble re­la­tion­ships and link­ages in or­der to grow the econ­omy and to im­prove the qual­ity of lives of our peo­ple,” Act­ing Pres­i­dent Mnan­gagwa said.

He said courts are at the core of any func­tion­ing dis­pute set­tle­ment sys­tem and their phys­i­cal avail­abil­ity in all four cor­ners of the coun­try as a well as ac­ces­si­bil­ity by the lit­i­gants serves as a cat­a­lyst of eco­nomic growth and de­vel­op­ment while bringing har­mony among the peo­ple.

“I would like to ex­press my sin­cere ap­pre­ci­a­tion to DANIDA which has part­nered with JSC to hon­our the peo­ple of Mvuma and in­deed the coun­try as a whole by pro­vid­ing much-needed re­sources for the con­struc­tion of this court. I wish to ex­press grat­i­tude to the peo­ple of Den­mark for their strong re­solve to ig­nore the gen­eral call by other Euro­pean coun­tries to with­hold aid to Zim­babwe,” the Act­ing Pres­i­dent said.

Mrs Signe Wind­ing Al­b­jerg from the Royal Dan­ish Em­bassy in Harare said her coun­try in­vested $18mil­lion at a time when the Zim­bab­wean jus­tice sys­tem was tee­ter­ing at the edge of dys­func­tion due to lack of ba­sic re­sources.

JSC sec­re­tary Jus­tice Rita Maka­rau said the new court­house was unique in that it had hold­ing cells for the Zim­babwe Prison and Cor­rec­tional Ser­vices to pro­tect the dig­nity of pris­on­ers and safety of of­fi­cers.

The court house was con­structed with fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance from the Royal Dan­ish Em­bassy in Harare and is part of the $18mil­lion cash in­jec­tion into the Ju­di­ciary Ser­vice Com­mis­sion (JSC) that has re­sulted in the build­ing, equip­ping and fur­nish­ing of 22 mag­is­trates’ courts — iden­ti­cal to the one in Mvuma — spread all over the coun­try.

Be­fore the open­ing of the new court­house, a small cir­cuit court, opened once a week by mag­is­trates from Gweru — was op­er­at­ing from the Dis­trict Ad­min­is­tra­tor’s Of­fice.

This re­sulted in a cases pil­ing up and peo­ple fail­ing to ac­cess jus­tice timely. The state-of-the art struc­ture has two court­rooms, two fully fur­nished mag­is­trates’ of­fices, a records room, help desk room, po­lice post, and of­fices for pros­e­cu­tors and the prison of­fi­cers. — @ pchi­tumba1

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.