BY PRAISEMORE SITHOLE/NIZBERT MOYO
COURT proceedings will from next year be held virtually as the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) moves to digitise its operations following installation of an integrated electronic case management system (IECMS).
Deputy Chief Magistrate Bianca Makwande announced the programme at a Press conference in Bulawayo on Thursday, saying the system would be introduced in two phases starting January next year.
“The electronic system will be deployed in all the following, Constitutional, Supreme, Commercial, Labour, Administrative, Magistrates, High Court, Master of High Court and Sheriff of the High Court under one case management system called the Integrated Electronic Case Management System. The IECMS allows for controlled exchange of data among the integrated components of the judiciary hence the term integrated,” Makwande said.
She said the IECMS shall be a unifying platform that will service all justice sector institutions.
“These institutions include the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), National Prosecution Authority of Zimbabwe, Judiciary, Zimbabwe Correctional Services, Law Society of Zimbabwe, other stakeholders and other government institutions as deemed appropriate,” she said.
“Without the electronic system, the courts are failing to provide timely and effective service delivery because manual services always require a human and are limited to only working hours and working days,” she said.
“Reports are manually processed using human intervention as and when time permits and these being prepared probably monthly. This short changes management and clients because at times an intervention is required in the shortest times.”
Makwande the system was user friendly and would be easily accessible for ordinary citizens from wherever they are.
“All courts will have internet access to allow the public to access the system. We shall also have electronic attendants who will be helping members of the public to use the software,” she said.
In the first phase, she said, the platform would be implemented at the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court and Commercial Court.
Phase 2 will see the IECMS going to the High Court, Labour Court, Magistrates Court, Sheriff of the High Court and Master of the High Court.