BY BEAUTY NYUKE
CHIEF magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi has called on government to improve legal facilities in rural areas in order for the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to administer equal justice to society.
Mutevedzi said this last Friday during the official opening of the Mount Darwin Magistrates Court.
He said talk of equal justice was mere rhetoric, particularly if the vulnerable and marginalised citizens in rural areas had no access to justice and were ignorant about court processes.
“Vibrant access to justice, therefore, encompasses a variety of principles ranging from adequate legal representation, availability of court infrastructure, citizens’ awareness of their rights, effective legal aid, fair adjudication of cases, enforcement of the court orders and oversight on the administration of justice by the society itself,” Mutevedzi said.
“This court symbolises the gigantic aspirations of the Judicial Service Commission in its quest to improve issues relating to access to justice by all Zimbabweans. The construction of this courthouse is a critical strategic area of the Judicial Service Commission’s strategic plan, and the project was a result of hard work and deliberate planning.”
Mutevedzi said it was sad that some complainants and accused persons appeared before the courts without legal representation or knowledge of their rights, which resulted in the courts not serving any meaningful purpose.
He also said that the justice system should not be costly and beyond the reach of the ordinary man, adding that it became an albatross on those who are supposed to benefit from it with crime rates continuing to increase on a daily basis in the country.
The chief magistrate said the JSC intended to have regional magistrates’ courts throughout the country, adding that in the last two years, they were increased from 25 to 39.
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