New Chinhoyi Court enhances access to justice

THE new multi-purpose Chinhoyi court complex, commissioned this Friday by President Emmerson Mnangagwa, is expected to enhance the administration of justice and is a milestone development signalling the quest for devolution and decentralisation of services.

Construction of the complex, which will house the High court and the Magistrates Courts as well as the master and Sherrif of the High court was abandoned for over a decade and only resumed in 2018.

Speaking at the commissioning, President Mnangagwa said the second republic has a culture of action, success and excellence and he will ensure timely completion of all projects underway.

“A culture of action, success and excellence is the backbone of the Second Republic value system and ethos. All projects underway will therefore be timely completed. State institutions must now seek new achievements and victories …. we are a government and a people on a journey to create a Zimbabwe we all want,” said the President.

Besides its aesthetic and imposing appearance, the facility is largely expected to enhance access to justice on the spirit of devolution.

“It is undesirable that we still have High courts in only five provinces. I am happy though that the need to decentralise our courts will correct the anomaly. By 2030 we will have the High court in every province,” said Ziyambi Ziyambi, the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.

“Your Excellence this shows the value you place in infrastructure development and administration of justice. This is the second biggest court complex in Zimbabwe. I am gratified that such a court complex is found in Mashonaland west. The development represents significant milestone in the quest for devolution from central government,” said the Minister of State for Mashonaland West Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Mary Mliswa.

The Deputy Minister of Local Government and Public Works, Honourable Marian Chombo symbolically handed over the building to Chief Justice Luke Malaba, who then highlighted issues to do with Standard Operating procedures and Policies as well as the Judicial Training Institute which were also launched during the commissioning of the court complex.

“The SOP has been developed. It is an accountability tool designed to assist the public to be able to measures services. The sops and policies set out procedures used in court in plain language for the benefit of judicial officers and the public. Section 165 sub section 7 of the constitution requires that members of the judiciary take reasonable steps to enhance knowledge and obligated the JSC to create an environment for that to happen. The judicial Training Institute will be established to provide officers and support staff to develop skills,” said Chief Justice Luke Malaba.

Among those who attended the court complex commissioning were the Minister of Defence and War Veterans Affairs, Honourable Oppah Muchinguri Kashiri and her State Security counterpart, Honourable Owen Ncube, senior staff from the Judicial Service Commission and representatives of United Nations agencies. – ZBC

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