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    Thursday, 16 May 2019

    Masvingo anti-corruption court opening date set

    Walter Chikwana at the refurbished Masvingo Court.
    NKULUMANI MLAMBO

    MASVINGO - The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has completed the refurbishment of specialized anti-corruption courts in Gweru, Masvingo and Mutare with the Masvingo Court set to open on May 31, 2019.
    This was said by the acting JSC secretary, Walter Chikwana during a whirlwind tour of the three courts on Friday last week.
    The anti-corruption court in Masvingo Province which will be officially opened by the Deputy Chief Justice Elizabeth Gwaunza is located at the Masvingo Magistrates Court where courtroom 5 has been turned into a specialised court while the Manicaland and Midlands courts are located at the Mutare and Gweru Magistrates Courts respectively.
     According to Transparency International (TI) 2018 report Zimbabwe is ranked 160 out of 176 countries on the corruption index ranking list. The country on number 1 is the least corrupt while the country on number 176 is the most corrupt.
    The anti-corruption court at Masvingo has been fitted with state of the art air conditioners, the furniture has been refurbished, the recording system upgraded, a new crown chair as well as new prosecutors and lawyers’ chairs are in place.
    It will also have an electronic notice board for the public as a way of enhancing transparency. Information on all cases on trial for that day and the names of judicial officers involved will be on the notice board.
    The Gweru and Mutare courts will be officially opened on June 7 by the Minister of Justice and Parliamentary Affairs, Ziyambi Ziyambi and on May 24 by Prosecutor General, Kumbirai Hodzi respectively, said Chikwana. Each court will be manned by two senior magistrates who are specially trained for the job.
    The courts are meant to bring efficiency and expeditious finalization of corruption cases.
     “I am going around checking on progress on the refurbishment of specialized anti-corruption courtrooms in the Midlands, Manicaland and Masvingo provinces,” said Chikwanha.
    Refurbishments of the courtrooms began three months ago and the three anti-corruption courts bring to eight the number of the specialized courts in the country after five were commissioned in Bulawayo and Harare in March last year.
    During the commissioning of the Harare anti corruption courts Chief Justice Luke Malaba said this was part fulfilment of their promise to ensure that those who are corrupt were prosecuted, convicted and punished accordingly.
    Chikwana said they intend to spread these courts to all the provinces by year end.
    Prominent Masvingo lawyer, Phillip Shumba lauded the move by JSC as he said it will go a long way in eradicating corruption which has become a cancer in the country.
    “The establishment of these courts was long overdue, specialised courts are the way to go if we are serious about eradicating corruption in the country,” said Shumba.

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