Judge President of the High Court, Justice George Chiweshe has announced plans by the Judicial Services Commission to station another judge in Mutare following a surge in the number of criminal cases in the area.
Chiweshe made the remarks while addressing guests who were gathered to witness the official opening of the 2020 Legal Year in Mutare.
Mutare currently has two high court judges stationed in the city but due to a sharp rise in criminal activities, a judge from Harare is often seconded to the border town to ease the workload.
Highlighting the scope of criminal acts in Mutare, Chiweshe said 24 murder cases will undergo trial in what looks like a busy year for the province.
“Plans are afoot, Ladies and Gentlemen, to have a third Judge posted to this station as we anticipate an increase in the workload. For example, for this first term of the 2020 legal year, the National Prosecuting Authority has set down for trial 24 murder cases. The number is high and likely to be higher as the year progresses,” said Chiweshe.
He added, “For purposes of hearing appeals, it became necessary that from time to time a judge from Harare be seconded to this station to sit with Justice Mwayera.”
Chiweshe also implored the Judicial Service Commission to invest in solar power to curb power shortages.
“The court’s operations were not spared of the scourge of power outages as more often than not, we were exposed to load shedding. I implore the Judicial Service Commission to consider investing in solar energy to cover all our courts,” he said.
Meanwhile, The complement of judges in the High Court now stands at 42, 30 stationed in Harare, 5 in Bulawayo, 3 in Masvingo, 2 in Mutare. One judge is presently seconded to the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (Justice Priscilla Chigumba) and another to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Justice Loice Matanda Moyo).