Gweru, which annually holds only four High Court circuits in the Midlands capital before the same Bulawayo judges leave for Masvingo on a similar mission, is set to have a permanent upper court in the city.
According to highly an impeccable sources, Judge President Rita Makarau, Provincial Admistrator Cecilia Chitiyo, Provincial Magistrate-In-Charge Pathekile Msipa, as well as senior prison and police officials held a meeting to that regard Monday afternoon.
“In a quest to bring justice to the people in the shortest possible period, the ministry is considering opening a Gweru High Court, and plans are at an advanced stage to do so,” revealed the source, who said he is not authorised to speak to the media.
“Remember justice delayed is justice denied.”
Accused persons, especially those facing murder charges, are having to wait for even up to five years to have their cases tried.
Lawyers travel all the way to the second capital to seek bail if their clients are denied freedom by the lower courts.
Samson Chitigu, a local resident welcomed the move, saying lawyers normally transferred the costs for travelling all the 162 kilometres to Bulawayo to their clients.
“It is certainly a step in the right direction. We also might see a slight decrease in unemployment levels as more staffers may be recruited.
Gweru and Kwekwe-based judges like Justices Maxwell Takuva and Martin Makonese respectively, are also having to travel to Bulawayo for work regularly, since being appointed to the bench.
A senior member of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) gave a thumbs-up to authorities for mulling the idea.
“Some suspects end up escaping after spending five years awaiting trial. As a journalist I think you are familiar with the disappearance of Dzatu,” he said in reference to businessman Webster Chiteta of Cam Valve Breakdown and Recovery.
Chiteta (39) allegedly murdered his wife, Tracy following a domestic dispute, before reportedly skipping the border when he was about to be indicted, years later.
Presently only Harare and Bulawayo have High Courts, with the situation impacting negatively on justice delivery in the city.