BY STEPHEN CHADENGA
BULAWAYO High Court judge, Justice Evangelista Kabasa has urged government to speed up the establishment of a permanent High Court in Gweru to deal with a huge backlog of cases in the Midlands province.
In a recent address to the Gweru circuit, Justice Kabasa said other cities such as Masvingo, Mutare, and Chinhoyi had managed to clear backlogs because they had the High Court permanently based in their areas.
She said the Gweru circuit sat three times per year to handle an average of 39 cases.
“This translates to a mere six weeks of court sittings in a year. Midlands is yet to have a permanent High Court established.
“Let me, therefore, add my voice to the clarion call for the establishment of a permanent High Court in the Midlands capital,” said.
“We cannot talk of a Zimbabwe in which world-class justice prevails as our vision and with core values that speak to among other things accessibility of court facilities when we still have hordes of litigants travelling to either Harare or Bulawayo in order to access justice,” the judge added.
She said no civil cases were heard when the High Court was on circuit, forcing complainants in civil matters to travel to Bulawayo for the resolution of such matters.
“Not only is this time consuming, but it also makes accessing justice an expensive exercise,” Justice Kabasa said.
The High Court judge also lamented the loss of lives caused by lack of self-control in the face of conflict and alcohol abuse.
She said there was need for society to seriously consider the repercussions of beer consumption especially at public gatherings.
“If beer drinking ceases to be a merry-making pastime, but instead creates fertile ground for conflict and escalation of violence, it is probably a time when the society needs to weigh the pros and cons of public gatherings where beer is imbibed with reckless abandon,” she said.