Denmark to build 30 magistrates' courts

HARARE - The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has floated a tender for the construction of new magistrates’ courts in Beitbridge, Chivi, Mwenezi, Binga, Nkayi and Victoria Falls.

The courthouses will be built with funding from Denmark under the JSC-Danida partnership.

Chief magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe is spearheading the building and improvement of the courts.

Commenting on the development, the head of mission at the Royal Danish Embassy in Harare, Erik Brøgger Rasmussen said: “Appropriate infrastructure for the judiciary such as court buildings are important in securing access to justice for all and promoting the rule of law, especially for the marginalised communities.”

The tender is the first in a series of five tenders which will cover  the construction of 30 new magistrates’ courts over the next two years on JSC-owned land across Zimbabwe.

The Danish diplomat said the design of the new court stations is in line with international best practice and standards.

Magistrates’ courts in most small towns and rural centres in Zimbabwe are currently sitting in unsuitable environments located in improvised premises which are not custom made for court operations.

These include police stations, government offices and other privately owned buildings.

Design features of the new court complexes include two courtrooms to allow for both civil and criminal matters to be handled separately, the JSC said.

In line with the principle of the protection of vulnerable victims, the courts will have a victim friendly centre for providing support and counselling to victims of violence, especially women and children.

The court stations are also designed to provide children and victims of sexual abuse with protection from intimidation and to ensure delivery of victim-sensitive judicial services
through a one way mirror facility that separates victims from the courtroom during testimony.

Other facilities include a legal aid office, a resource library for various stakeholders and ramps to make easy access for the disabled.

Rasmussen said: “The building of the 30 magistrate courthouses is part of a comprehensive programme that will ensure a well resourced judiciary service with increased efficiency in its delivery of justice.

“The programme encompasses procuring a state-of-the-art case management system, complete with internet access equipment, printers, photocopiers as well as equipment to record court proceedings, generators, motor vehicles and furniture.”

Other important elements that the programme supports include magistrates’ capacity building through the purchase of law reports and training, the strengthening and establishment of internal measures against corruption, and regular collaboration between the JSC and other justice sector actors.

The partnership between the JSC and Danida has a joint objective of positively transforming Zimbabwe’s justice delivery system while enhancing the independence, integrity and effectiveness of the judiciary, the Danish envoy said.

”Denmark is committed to human-rights based programming that is focused on the strengthening of government capacities to deliver the much needed basic services whilst enabling people of Zimbabwe to access, demand and claim their rights,” Rasmussen said.

Comments (5)

Never a colony again. Everything of note post Rhodesia has been built with foreign donor money.

Galore 123 - 14 August 2014

You are pathologically negative. seriously, out of all this positive news all you could think about was to take a dig at ZANU PF?

Be Factual - 15 August 2014

A big THANK YOU to the Danish.

taps - 15 August 2014

How much is destined for the Project Executives' pockets- ZimASSET levy.

Mukanya - 15 August 2014

How pathetic asking foreigners to step in to rebuild buildings that should be done by the Goverment. one hand they are insulting the Eu the next thing they are assisting these idiots- where are the chinese buddies? Just shows the double standards by those at the top - some of it must have been stashed in a private account

Godhelpusall - 15 August 2014

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