Deputy News Editor
Five new magistrates’ courts have been established in Harare and Bulawayo to help improve people’s access to justice.
In Harare, the new courts, which have been established in terms of Section 4(3) of the Magistrates Court Act, will be in Budiriro, Glen Norah and Epworth, while two others will be set up in Entumbane and Nkulumane in Bulawayo.
Harare currently has only two magistrates’ courts in Mbare and Rotten Row.
Justice, Legal and Parlimentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi told The Sunday Mail that the latest development will help ensure cases are speedily concluded.
“In Harare, since Independence we only had two magistrates’ courts — Mbare and Rotten Row,” said Minister Ziyambi.
“What this means is that we were lagging behind in providing citizens with access to justice. Our vision as a ministry is that we want to facilitate access to justice by all. Because we had so few courts, we had a situation where we had massive case backlogs and people had to travel for very long distances to access the courts.
“For example, when Mbare Court was established, it had a very small catchment area, but since then the population has almost doubled, but that has not been complemented by an increase in the number of courts.
“So the establishment of these new courts will ensure that access to justice is easier. Now that we have gazetted the new courts, the Judicial Service Commission will identify buildings where they will establish the physical courts.
“Already they have identified a building for the Epworth court.”
He said as part of the Government’s thrust to decentralise justice, a new High Court will be established in Chinhoyi soon.
The Government plans to establish High Courts in seven of the 10 provinces by 2025. Presently, the High Court sits permanently in Harare, Bulawayo, Masvingo and Mutare, but judges go on circuit to other centres.
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