Source: Plans afoot to set up Commercial Court | The Herald May 20, 2019
Victor Maphosa Herald Correspondent
Plans are at an advanced stage for the setting up of a specialised Commercial Court to deal with commercial disputes, Chief Justice Luke Malaba has said.
He made the remarks during the commissioning of the Labour Court in Rotten Raw, Harare, last week.
President Mnangagwa officiated at the commissioning which was attended by senior Government officials who included Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Ziyambi Ziyambi and Finance and Economic Development Minister Professor Mthuli Ncube.
Chief Justice Malaba said judges will be made available and trained to preside over commercial disputes to ensure their expeditious disposition.
“The JSC approves of Government’s vision of opening the country for business as a means of ensuring that Zimbabwe attains a middle income economy by the year 2030. The judiciary stands ready to play its part in that regard. I am happy, Your Excellency, to advise that to that end the JSC purchased another building to accommodate the Commercial Court. The rehabilitation and customisation of that building will commence in June 2019,” he said.
“As the economy grows, commercial disputes will inevitably rise. The judiciary stands ready to play its part in that regard.
“Judges will be made available and trained to preside over commercial disputes and ensure their expeditious disposition.”
He said the upcoming Commercial Court will rely mainly on a paperless system for the administration of justice.
“I have already made it known to the public that the JSC’s plan is that when the Commercial Court opens to the public, it should be the first court in the country to rely mainly on a paperless system for the administration of justice, particularly in the area of filing documents and case management,” he said.
“To achieve that, the introduction of an Integrated Electronic Case Management System remains an urgent goal which the JSC is pursuing.
“The procurement process to choose the most suitable service provider with the necessary experience and know-how in matters of e-justice technology has commenced and all the necessary paperwork is now before the Procurement Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) for approval.”
Going forward, Chief Justice Malaba said the JSC made a resolution to decentralise the courts to high-density suburbs to ease the burden of the public travelling long distances to access court services.
“In order to meet the rising demand for court services and ensure that the public is not burdened by travelling long distances to access court services, the JSC made a decision to decentralise the courts to high-density suburbs,” he said.
“The JSC Secretariat approached Harare City Council and Epworth Town Board with requests for allocation of land for construction of courthouses in Mabvuku, Tafara, Budiriro and Epworth.
“I am happy to advise that Epworth Town Board embraced this initiative and has already allocated land to the JSC for that purpose. The Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing is now on the ground, working on the designs for the envisaged courthouse. I expect construction of the courthouse at Epworth to start anytime soon.”