BY NHAU MANGIRAZI
SHORTAGE of magistrates has hit Karoi and Kariba magistrates courts, with the courts failing to discharge their duties to capacity.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday relaxed the lockdown restrictions to level two, allowing the courts, already crippled with backlogs, to run at full capacity.
It has, however, emerged there is only one magistrate for the provincial magistrate courts in Kariba after magistrate Bianca Mahere resigned during the lockdown.
Karoi also has one regional magistrate presiding over cases, supported by one provincial magistrate, when there should be two under normal circumstances.
Judicial Service Commission (JSC) secretary Walter Chikwana said the commission will recruit more magistrates to ensure equitable justice in communities.
‘‘It is true that we have lost a lot of magistrates through resignations and death. Those magistrates are going to be replaced. The process is ongoing,’’ Chikwanha said. He, however, said the JSC will only deploy one magistrate in Karoi.
‘‘We are going to have two provincial magistrates and one regional magistrate. If there is an increase in workload, certainly we will increase our officers,’’ he added.