JSC speaks on mag­is­trates ac­com­mo­da­tion

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Masvingo Cor­re­spon­dent

THE Ju­di­cial Ser­vices Com­mis­sion (JSC) has reaf­firmed its com­mit­ment to en­sur­ing Zim­babwe of­fers world class ser­vice in the jus­tice de­liv­ery sys­tem through the on­go­ing im­prove­ment of fa­cil­i­ties at var­i­ous courts coun­try­wide.

JSC act­ing sec­re­tary Mr Wal­ter Chik­wana said Gov­ern­ment was work­ing flat out to en­sure the re­cently de­ployed 57 mag­is­trates were ad­e­quately ac­com­mo­dated.

Mr Chik­wana was speak­ing dur­ing a tour to as­sess fa­cil­i­ties at the Gutu Res­i­dent Mag­is­trates’ Court at Mpan­dawana Town.

He said up­grad­ing fa­cil­i­ties at ex­ist­ing courts and the con­struc­tion of new court premises in some ar­eas across the prov­ince would com­mence next week.

“The ob­jec­tive of this tour is to as­sess the state of in­fras­truc­ture at our courts with a view to in­ter­vene and ef­fect re­pairs where nec­es­sary,” said Mr Chik­wana. “We will also make de­ci­sions to con­struct new build­ings in some places.

‘’To­day, we have started with the Gutu Mag­is­trates Court be­cause there is a se­ri­ous short­age of of­fice space de­spite the fact that it is the third busiest court in the prov­ince af­ter Masvingo and Chiredzi.”

Mr Chik­wana said the JSC sec­re­tar­iat will visit all seven ad­min­is­tra­tive dis­tricts in Masvingo on the ground-as­sess­ment of the sit­u­a­tion.

“Our tour is also look­ing at the hu­man re­source com­po­nent,” he said.

“We are assess­ing staff com­ple­ment and con­di­tions at each court. The sec­re­tar­iat will this week visit all the seven dis­tricts in Masvingo, while work on in­fras­truc­tural im­prove­ments will start next week across the prov­ince.”

Mr Chik­wana ex­pressed con­cern that staffers at the Gutu Mag­is­trates Court were packed like ‘’sar­dines’’ in small of­fices with hardly ad­e­quate ablu­tion fa­cil­i­ties.

“Our staff here are squeezed in one of­fice,” he said. “It is, there­fore, our in­ten­tion to build an­other five-roomed of­fice block and con­struct more ablu­tion fa­cil­i­ties here in Gutu.

“We have one mag­is­trate, Mr (Vic­tor) Ma­hamadi here in Gutu. He has re­ceived over 1 000 cases from across the district since the be­gin­ning of this year. We also have a cir­cuit court in Chatsworth, where he has dealt with over 300 cases so far. ln fact, he is over-work­ing.

“From the new mag­is­trates re­cently de­ployed, each district in the prov­ince got one more new mag­is­trate, while the Masvingo Re­gional Court got three. Gutu did not re­ceive any be­cause of in­ad­e­quate in­fras­truc­ture.”

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