Mag­is­trates short­age hits Zim

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

THE coun­try has been hit by a short­age of mag­is­trates owing to a re­cruit­ment freeze im­posed on Gov­ern­ment de­part­ments.

In an in­ter­view on the side­lines of the of­fi­cial open­ing of the Mvuma court­house on Wed­nes­day, Chief Mag­is­trate Mr Mishrod Gu­va­mombe said there were 41 va­cant posts for mag­is­trates that his of­fice was fail­ing to fill up.

He said Zim­babwe’s ju­di­ciary re­quires mag­is­trates but there were only 209 in post.

Mr Gu­va­mombe said as a result, mag­is­trates’ who are sup­posed to work for 60 hours a month are now be­ing forced to work for 100 hours.

He said more than 21 mag­is­trates are work­ing in an act­ing ca­pac­ity.

“We have a freeze in the chief mag­is­trate’s of­fice. The sit­u­a­tion has been like this since 2010 and we are not able to re­cruit new staff yet we are los­ing staff through res­ig­na­tions, deaths, retirement and other rea­sons. We are un­der­staffed,” Mr Gu­va­mombe said.

“We have some courts that are closed. We have also these new court houses con­structed to han­dle 250 two mag­is­trates, but some of them only have a sin­gle mag­is­trate.”

The Chief mag­is­trate said plans to de­cen­tralise Re­gional Courts across the coun­try were be­ing ham­pered by a short­age of staff.

“The de­cen­tral­i­sa­tion of the Re­gional Courts to ar­eas such as Plumtree, Kadoma, Chipinge and Beit­bridge has been neg­a­tively af­fected since there are only 25 Re­gional mag­is­trates in the coun­try. It means we can’t de­cen­tralise Re­gional Courts to bring jus­tice to the peo­ple,” said Mr Gu­va­mombe.

He said his of­fice was, how­ever, striv­ing for ex­cel­lence with lim­ited staff.

Of­fi­cially open­ing the Mvuma Court, Act­ing Pres­i­dent Em­mer­son Mnan­gagwa be­moaned the short­age of mag­is­trates.

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. “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,” Cde Mnan­gagwa said. — @pchi­tumba1

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.