Magistrates under strict supervision

HARARE - Chief magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe is stepping up  supervision of all magistrates’ work output.

Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony of three female magistrates at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts yesterday, Guvamombe said the performance of each magistrate would be measured by the comments which are made by superior courts on appeals and reviews.

“...in that regard I have opened files for each magistrate. I will be filing every review minute and appeal judgment in the file of the concerned magistrate,” Guvamombe said.

“We also are going to introduce training programmes as part of that initiative.”

The three magistrates, Ruth Moyo, Zvichanzii Venencia Mugota and Gladys Moyo successfully completed their internship and will be deployed to Manicaland and Mashonaland Central.

Guvamombe urged the newly-sworn law officers to work hard and desist from corruption.

“Corruption has well known negative effects if it is allowed to take root and there is no doubt that it can undermine justice by denying victims and the accused of the basic human right to a fair and impartial trial,” he said.

“...please do not tempt our new brooms by offering them bribes as you will be compromising the very system that you require services from.”

He called on all magistrates to be alert on decisions and progress made at superior courts.

“You must be alive to decisions made by the superior courts that are, the Constitutional Court, Supreme Court and the High Court; therefore your decisions must conform to decisions made by superior courts,” Guvamombe said.

“If you are stuck, do not venture into the unknown, seek assistance from your colleagues. You’re coming in to improve the justice delivery system.”

The three magistrates derive experience from working with the prosecution department, magisterial sit-in civil court and criminal court as well as in the private sector.

Comments (1)

I sent a car to Zimbabwe in November 2011 through Plumtree Border post with the accompanying invoice for £1950 as required by law but to my surprise the invoice was cooked up to read the recipient's name and the purchase price reduced to £600. I reported the matter but still lost the case and my car in court. A Zimra official subpoenaed by police told the police that the clearing officer at the time was transferred to Beitbridge and could not attend. She went on to write a warned and cautioned statement at VTS that Zimra uses its on ways of valuating cars but will never calculate downwards of the presented invoice. For example, if the accompanying invoice has £1950 and their (Zimra) catalogue has £1900, Zimra would calculate duty on £1950 but if Zimra catalogue has £2500 then the catalogue amount will be used. Corruption has spread like mushroom. Obviously the Zimra official got paid to devalue the car as confirmed and its in writing but still how did I lose the case in court. It was like graveside eulogy at the burial of a loved one when the magistrate was giving his founding verdict. The court was packed and even the accused family who were expecting the worst didn't rejoice. They were shocked according to those close to them. Fighting corruption, my foot but yes the press is trying hard to find answers and here is a tip - you cannot get anywhere when the judiciary system is not clean. How an invoice in my name changed ownership to another name without my consent or affidavit was also ignored. I urge the Daily News to take up my case to Chief Magistrate.

Take 5 - 10 February 2015

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