CJ warns corrupt judicial officers

Chief Justice Luke Malaba

Officials in the justice delivery system have been warned against engaging in corrupt activities that threaten governance systems in Zimbabwe.

Speaking after touring the Chinhoyi Magistrates’ Court under construction, Chief Justice Luke Malaba said the Judicial Services Commission was installing effective systems to eradicate corruption.

Concerns have been raised over the stalling of high-profile trials at the courts.

He urged Zimbabweans not to fuel corruption by participating in the criminal activities.

“We will have among us, those who are as yet unable to think like that, but it’s a thinking process.

“It’s a thought process. It’s an act of conscience. You choose to think in a particular way, but in this case we are saying, don’t choose to act corruptly, choose to act in a manner that is required by the law,” he said.

He called for officials to act in terms of the law.

“Those who are supposed to deliver justice must deliver it in terms of the law. You can’t deliver justice in terms of your own interest,” he said.

He said officials should be conscious of the law, the statutory demands and procedural requirements while not protecting suspects.

“You don’t do in a justice system, what you want to, because you know Mr So and So, Mrs So and So or because Mr So and So has given you money. Once you do that, you are dead and you are killing the system,” he said.

He said corruption was an anti-thesis to proper administration of justice.

“When we are presiding over an institution that is required to ensure a proper administration of justice in terms of the Constitution, we cannot afford to act corruptly,” he said.

He, however, conceded the tough battle in eradicating corruption.

“It’s a process and being a process, it has a history. You need to know that corruption does not mushroom overnight, it has a history, it has its own ways of doing things, it has an incubation.

“It then develops and gets roots. For you to uproot corruption, you also have to have alternative measures that are sufficiently strong and ensure high standards of integrity in those people who are supposed to attack it.”

He said eradicating corruption also needs the people’s confidence.

“The public also has a responsibility. Corruption comes from the members of the public who take part in corrupt activities,” he said calling for internalisation of values of zero tolerance to corruption.

He called for officials to understand the gravity of corruption while calling for self-introspection among Zimbabweans.

“Many people tend to act without deep thinking, without much of a thought just because they are acting to fulfil personal interest. It’s to fulfil personal interests as a human being than satisfying the objective interest of a nation,” he said.

He said there was no need for playing the blame game in fighting corruption.

“The blame game will not achieve anything because corruption will remain there.

“What measures are we taking that will ensure that we have people in offices who are conscious of the need, the obligation to act in the national interest?” he said.