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Former ZEC head, Makarau impressed by Masvingo courts case clearance rate

-no need for 3RD Judge

TONDERAI SAHARO

MASVINGO-Former head of Zimbabwe Electoral Commission and now Constitutional Judge, Justice Rita Makarau said she is impressed by the swift handling of cases by the High Court and lower courts in Masvingo.

Justice Makarau said she was proud of the work of the High and Magistrates’ courts for their swift handling of both criminal and civil matters.

This is despite, particularly the High Court facing challenges on the usage of the newly adopted state of the art Integrated Electronic Case Management System in court proceedings.

Justice Makarau made the remarks on Monday, while delivering a key note address during the official opening of the 2024 Legal year at the High Court.

This year the Legal year will run under the theme ‘The Role of the Judiciary in entrenching Constitutionalism’.

Justice Makaru said in 2023, the High Court in Masvingo’s civil division commenced the year with only 15 cases and received an additional of 623 cases.

During the course of the year the division successfully completed 609 cases representing a 95.5 percent completion rate.

The criminal division began the year with 6 cases and received an additional of 1 448 cases during the course of the year with the court completing 1 420 of them.

Masvingo magistrates court’s civil division had 3 820 cases received for the year and successfully completed 3 744 while the criminal division completed 6 974 from 7 147 received.

“The clearance rate for 2023 was impressive I wish to commend all the judicial officers for a pleasing 2023.

“The judge in charge briefed me on the teething problems that the High Court experienced upon the launch of the Integrated Electronic Case Management System

“The problems were not peculiar to Masvingo, there were nationwide and I believe that the Chief Justice (Luke Malaba) will address all those who were adversely affected by the teething problems.

“Happily, the challenges did not have an adverse impact on the backlog at the High Court here in Masvingo,” she said.

Riding on the success in the swift completion rate of cases at the High Court in Masvingo, Justice Makarau said she sees no point for the court to have a third Judge as per requirement.

Currently the High Court has two Judges, Station head, Justice Garainesu Mawadze and Justice Sunsley Zisengwe.

“The clearance rate of cases is astounding, considering that the High Court is still manned by only two judges instead of three.

“Such a clearance rate will make it difficult for authorities to accept recommendations that a third Judge be deployed to Masvingo as there is a possibility of being redundant,” she said.

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