Danida hands over Murambinda court

HARARE - The Danish government yesterday officially handed over the new magistrates’ court at Murambinda Growth Point to the Judicial Services Commission (JSC).

The premises were to be officially opened by the secretary of the JSC, Justice Rita Makarau.

Murambinda court is one of 22 new state-of-the-art magistrates’ courts constructed across Zimbabwe with funding provided under the more than $15 million JSC-Danida partnership which aims at positively transforming Zimbabwe’s justice delivery system while enhancing the independence, integrity and effectiveness of the judiciary.

The court opening also marks the beginning of a unique partnership as the JSC and a range of civil society organisations will be signing a historic Memorandum

of Understanding on the usage of help desks.

The help desks will be located at the magistrates’ courts, providing citizens in Murambinda and other towns around Zimbabwe with free legal services and the opportunity to obtain information on their legal rights.

In an interview ahead of the launch, the acting head of mission at the Royal Danish Embassy office, Chargé d’Affairs Signe Winding Albjerg said: “The Help Desk offices will be a place where citizens can obtain free legal assistance and information on their legal rights.

“This underlines the foundation and objective of the successful partnership between JSC and Danida, which is to improve access to justice for Zimbabwean citizens all over the country.”

The new magistrates’ courts have been designed to serve as a one-stop justice centre, providing a place where government departments and civil society organisations will converge to collaborate, ensuring coordinated services that better meet the needs of its users.

She said that by accommodating all of these services at one site, a comprehensive range of citizen’s legal needs can now be undertaken in the course of one visit, saving everyone’s time and money.

The opening will showcase the court’s range of access to justice features, including better access for the disabled, a case management system, through which citizens and lawyers can acquire case information, and victim support facilities, including the ones dedicated for children.

The courts also comprise a state-of-the-art recording system to ensure an accurate recording of court proceedings, assisting in the follow-up processes and detecting and deterring corruption.

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