2020 Legal Year opens, focus on graft fight

Source: 2020 Legal Year opens, focus on graft fight | The Herald 13 JAN, 2020

2020 Legal Year opens, focus on graft fightChief Justice Luke Malaba

Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter
The 2020 Legal Year opens today, with Chief Justice Luke Malaba expected to deliver a keynote address at the Constitutional Court (Concourt) in Harare. The fight against corruption is expected to be a major part of the court system’s agenda this year.
All stakeholders in the justice delivery system, including judges and lawyers, the diplomatic corps and high-ranking Government officials are expected to attend the traditional opening ceremony.

The annual event will be held at four centres concurrently across the country, starting at 10am.
Deputy Chief Justice Elizabeth Gwaunza presides over the opening ceremony in Bulawayo, Justice Paddington Garwe in Masvingo and Judge President George Chiweshe in Mutare.

Speaking to The Herald yesterday, Judicial Service Commission (JSC) spokesman Mr Brian Nkiwane said everything was ready for the legal year opening under the theme; “Transparency and Accountability”.

“As JSC we are ready for the leading and most important day on our judicial calender,” said Mr Nkiwane.
“The main event address by the Chief Justice will set the tone for this year’s legal year. Thus all court sittings will start soon after the official opening of the legal year.”

The year is promising to be a hive of activity at the superior court with reports that the anti-corruption drive has moved a gear up towards prosecution of individuals fingered in graft. The Attorney-General’s Office is now working with the National Prosecution Authority (NPA) in fast-tracking cases to court.

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) is currently working on over 600 dockets for people implicated in corruption including judges, ministers, Members of Parliament and company executives.

Of the 600 dockets at least 100 have been fully investigated, with 74 involving high-profile figures, according to ZACC chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo.

ZACC investigates and forwards dockets to the NPA, but the Attorney-General is being brought on board to add impetus to fight corruption.

Justice Matanda-Moyo said as part of the corruption fight, several top-of-the-range vehicles, luxury homes and bank accounts had been forfeited to the State as owners were failing to account for their wealth.