'No politicisation of justice delivery'

HARARE - Justice deputy minister Fortune Chasi has assured donors that there will be no politicisation of the justice delivery system.

He said this at the unveiling of a new courthouse by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) in Norton yesterday.

This was after the Danish Embassy, which helped build the courthouse, raised concern over reports of the politicisation of cases in the Zimbabwean courts.

“I assure the Danish that there is no politicisation,” Chasi said, inviting other donors and non-governmental organisations to support his ministry.

“I call those in the IT industry to collaborate with government to jump over the digital divide to bridge the gap between the public and the judicial services,” Chasi said.

Earlier, chief magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe, commended the donor, and said the new courthouse would improve the quality of justice delivery in Norton.

JSC unveiled a fully-furnished magistrates’ courthouse, which is part of the commission’s project to revamp the courts around the country, with  30 more courthouses  expected to be constructed in the next two years.

Erik Rasmussen, charge d’affaires at the Danish Embassy, said they had been sceptical to support the JSC because of the negative reports on the judicial system.

“When entering into the partnership with the JSC some years ago, we were warned about a politicised and corrupted legal system,” Rasmussen said.

“Therefore (its) not an easy decision for minister to support the JSC spending Denmark taxpayers’ money. Happy to say that Danida is now back in full force after a bumpy road.”

Rasmussen also expressed concern over the Mo Ibrahim rule of law index list which ranked Zimbabwe 42 out of 52 countries

“The collaboration is all about improving that ranking,” he said.

“This collaboration has to deliver results. Physical structures can never make a difference alone, but surely the poor state of the old building would give most, if not everyone, an impression that here justice could not be delivered.”

Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku said the courts suffered neglect, leading to the dilapidation of courthouses around the country.

“We lost focus, we emphasised on politics,” he said.

According to Chidyausiku, over 26 out of 52 magistrates’ courts around the country were in a deplorable state, with some operating from dilapidated buildings.

He said there was need for an environment conducive for justice delivery, as it was a

component of an integrated programme to improve the quality of Zimbabwe’s justice system.

“The magistrates also have to be paid remuneration that is complementary of the work they do, to make sure they are not prone to corruption, need to monitor the cases,” Chidyausiku said.

The chief justice praised the magistrates for putting in more hours as they were now spending  at least 60 hours in court per month, reducing the case backlog.

Comments (1)

now that you have talked cde Chidyausiku, compliment the talk by a big walk.

nyanga - 18 May 2014

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