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Monday, May 27, 2024

Decentralisation of justice delivery system bears fruit

Story by Peter Chivhima

THE Epworth Magistrates Court has dealt with more than 460 cases since the facility opened its doors to the public in March this year.

Harare’s Epworth suburb is one of the beneficiaries of government’s drive to decentralise the justice delivery system.

ZBC News was in Epworth this Wednesday where the crew met Emilia Chandakatadza (not her real name), a survivor of domestic violence who was in the process of filing papers for a peace order.

“As I am speaking to you, I am on my way to process my peace order so that I can be protected, my husband is in the habit of abusing me daily. He took all my belongings,” she said.

Chandakatadza is not the only one cherishing the existence of a court in their area, with another GBV survivor, Yeukai Chidhaka having been granted a relief in the form of a peace order against her abusive husband.

Her husband was allegedly physically and verbally abusing her in front of their children, while also threatening to kill her.

Several other people from Epworth testify that the court has brought relief in resolving various disputes.

“We feel relieved that the court is now in our community, it is helping us as residents. Since it opened its doors, we have seen a decrease in cases of murder and house breaking. So, we want to thank our government for the development. Even the presence of police has since increased, we want to thank President Emerson Mnangagwa for the vision. If there wasn’t this court we will be saying another story,” noted Gogo Moko a resident.

“As the local board, we are benefiting a lot in terms of policing because of late we used to have the community coming here for consultations. Also, the issue of disputes such as boundaries, land and houses were so rife but now the issues are not dealt with on time,” said Epworth Town Secretary, Dr Wilton Mhanda.

The government is constructing court houses throughout the country to bring justice delivery services closer to the people.

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