Call for transparency and accountability in the Judiciary system

By ZBC Reporter
THE judiciary system should act in a transparent and accountable manner in the execution of its judicial functions, chief justice Luke Malaba has said.
Chief Justice Malaba said this when he presided over the opening of the 2020 legal year on Monday morning in Harare. Chief Justice Malaba outlined that the judicial system is bound to act in accordance with the principles of transparency, justice accountability and responsiveness.
“In a constitutional state governed by the rule of law, the obligation the Judiciary owes to society is limited to applying the law with integrity in an independent and impartial way free of corruption.”
“The judiciary’s accountability to society is made operative first and foremost by ensuring that the judiciary officers are accountable to the law. That means that they are required to explain their decisions based on the application of legal rules, through legal reasoning and findings of facts that are based on evidence and analysis.
Malaba said the National prosecuting Authority (NPA) must be careful, conscientious and professional in executing its constitutional mandate of prosecuting criminal case.
“Weak prosecution cases must not be brought to court. They only serve to frustrate the ends of justice because the suspects end up being released at court for want of prosecution. That scenario lends credence to the notorious accusations of catch and release coined by some sections of the society.
“It is the NPA that must also properly advise the investigating arms of the State, such as the ZRP and the ZAC, on the strength of evidence required in each criminal case. If the NPA abdicates this crucial responsibility, the failure will serve to bring the administration of justice into disrepute as inconclusive evidence will be presented before the courts.
“The courts themselves are expected to be diligent and properly manage cases that are brought before them, and to deliver decisions expeditiously. The court remains the last bastion in the fight against corruption. A court that unnecessarily postpones matters and delays in the delivery of decisions is an obstruction to the administration of justice.
Malaba also added that there is a need to quickly identify ways to put an end to the machetes gangs.
In the spirit of transparency and accountability and embracing of digital technology, the commission will this year introduce a virtual court system which will allow the public to find out the status of cases through electronic platforms.
“ICT affords great potential to automate court services and proceedings as a way to make the administration of courts more efficient, transparent and accountable.
“Those who are not computer literate will still get assistance from the court’s IT personnel to access the information they need electronically,” he said.