By ZBC Reporter
DEPUTY Chief Justice Elizabeth Gwaunza has warned machete-wielding gangs terrorising several communities around the country that they will face the full wrath of the law.
Machete gangs’ have wreaked havoc at gold mining sites across the country, causing deaths and injuries and threatening the entire gold mining industry, and have been moving into other violent crime in towns, cities and rural business centres.
Speaking this Monday at the official opening of the 2020 legal year at Bulawayo’s high court Justice Gwaunza said the judicial system will not sit back and watch these gangs terrorising citizens.
“The judiciary will deal with these gangs. Special courts have been set up to ensure justice is quickly delivered. We cannot afford to have the country descend into anarchy,” said Gwaunza
She also highlighted challenges which the judicial service commission is facing including infrastructure, lack of resources and under-staffing amid a huge case backlog.
Despite these setbacks, the judiciary has managed to clear many cases while also constructing Lupane and Gwanda magistrate courts.
Meanwhile in a third judge is set to be appointed at the Mutare High Court as part of efforts to expedite the justice delivery system in anticipation of an increase in the workload this year.
Speaking at the Mutare 2020 legal year, Judge President Justice George Chiweshe highlighted that plans are underway to add another judge to reduce the workload.
“Having two resident judges saves us the costs that we used to incur. In addition, it enables the expeditious disposal of appeals. Plans are afoot to have a third judge posted to this station as we anticipate an increase in the workload. For this first term of the 2020 legal year, the National Prosecuting Authority has set down for the trial of 24 murder cases. The number is high and likely to be higher as the year progresses, said Chiweshe.
An additional judge has also been added to the Masvingo High Court, bringing to three the number of judges in a move which is set to improve the delivery of justice in the province.
Since the establishment of a permanent High Court in Masvingo in 2016, it has been manned by two judges.
Justice Sunsley Zisengwe has since been appointed to the bench, where he joins Justice Neville Wamambo and Justice Garainesu Mawadze.
As he officially opened the 2020 legal year at Masvingo High Court, Constitutional and Supreme Court judge, Justice Paddington Garwe said an additional judge to the bench will allow the law officials to do more research thereby improving justice delivery.
“It is not uncommon for two judges to disagree in a matter on appeal or review. The presence of a third judge makes the work of the High Court much easier. I am therefore certain that the public, the legal fraternity and all stakeholders will benefit immensely from the recent expansion in the complement of judges at Masvingo High Court,” said Justice Garwe.
By ZBC Reporter