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Thursday, June 8, 2023

Epworth magistrate courts opens its doors

Story by Peter Chivhima

It was another milestone achievement in the country’s justice delivery system after the first-ever township court opened its doors to the public in the Epworth suburb of Harare this Monday.

Vice President General Retired Dr Constantino Chiwenga, who was part of the proceedings, commended President Emerson Mnangagwa’s inclusive development agenda for achieving the desired results.

Dr Chiwenga said, ‘‘I want to thank our President Dr Emmerson Mnangagwa for supporting the JSC so that justice can be promoted. This is in line with the Second Republic’s mantra of leaving no and no place behind.’’

More courthouses are set to be opened in various parts of the country to ensure justice is delivered at the convenience of citizens.

Chief Justice Malaba noted, ‘‘Access to justice has been construed in some sections. The commission has recognised some commissions in the justice delivery system. To achieve fundamental human rights. State institutions must be strong to promote people’s fundamental rights. So, what we are witnessing today is going to reduce distance when people travel to seek justice. Decentralisation and devolution of the country’s courts play a vital role in the progression of the nation. Justice should be easily accessible to the vulnerable members of the communities.’’

Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Honourable Ziyambi Ziyambi said, ‘‘This shows the government’s commitment to bringing justice close to people. This court will help in decongesting the country’s courts especially here in Harare. The right to access justice is vital in the justice delivery system. It is important that people access justice close to the people.’’

The main building of the Epworth complex which was commissioned by President Mnangagwa this Monday will house two magistrate courtrooms, as well as eight offices and ablution facilities.

Holding cells have also been constructed to meet Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) specifications, with separate sections for men, women and juveniles.

This comes after the Judiciary Service Commission commissioned the Commercial Division of the High Court in Harare, constructed courthouses in Bulawayo, Mutare and Lupane, and is seized with efforts to construct similar structures in Cowdray Park – Bulawayo, Mkoba in Gweru and Highfield in Harare.

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