Conrad Mupesa–Mashonaland West Bureau
The new multi-million dollar Chinhoyi Courts building is a sign of improvement of access to justice for all citizens, Chief Justice Luke Malaba said yesterday during the official commissioning ceremony of the complex by President Mnangagwa.
The complex incorporates the High Court, Magistrates Court, Master of the High Court, and Sheriff of the High Court.
Chief Justice Malaba praised the Second Republic’s efforts towards achieving infrastructural development and said the Judicial Service Commission was committed to providing adequate and modern court facilities to the generality of Zimbabweans as enshrined in the constitution.
“It is a constitutional mandate, the commission has to discharge consistence with the vision of achieving world class justice,” he said. “The theme: ‘An effective and efficient judiciary through infrastructure development’ speaks about the Second Republic’s abrasive thrust towards ensuring infrastructure development across all sectors of the economy.
“While the Vision 2030 policy document speaks of infrastructure development as a catalyst to the Zimbabwe’s economic transformation, the National Development Strategy 1, seeks to achieve the national outcome of improved justice delivery through the decentralisation of court services and infrastructure development.”
Chief Justice Malaba said the JSC was expected to cooperate with other arms of Government for the achievement of common national objectives.
The new court complex accommodates eight courtrooms, 44 offices, state-of-the-art library, numerous public waiting halls and eight holding cells that meet internationally recommended standards for people held in custody.
It also accommodates facilities for the National Prosecuting Authority, Zimbabwe Republic Police and Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services.
The JSC, said Justice Malaba, developed standard operation procedure and policies including performance management and monitoring and evaluation guidelines.
“These manuals are aimed at assisting the JSC members of staff to execute their functions with uniformity and clarity required of them,” he said. “The standard operating procedures are an accountability tool designed to assist members of the public to understand and measure the quality of service they receive from the JSC’s members of staff all in the effort to improve justice delivery.”
The JSC yesterday handed over the plainly written manuals to enhance communication to stakeholders in attendance.
The manuals explain in detail the roles of clerks of court, registrars of the High Court, Supreme Court, Labour Court, Administrative Court and Constitutional Court and officers in the Master of the High Court office and those in the office of the Sheriff of the High Court.
The JSC has also followed World Health Organisation’s Covid-19 guidelines and its staff embraced the vaccination drive.
“We believe vaccination appears to be an immediate solution to the Covid-19 challenge,” said Justice Malaba. “As at 31 August, 1 810 members of staff under the JSC out of a total of 1 900 had been vaccinated.”