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Government to Replace Make-Shift Zimbabwe Courts

  • Sithandekile Mhlanga

Harare Magistrates Courts

Harare Magistrates Courts

Tenders were invited Tuesday for companies to build the courts, beginning with Victoria Falls, Nkayi, and Binga in Matabeleland North, which all have make-shift courts manned by only one magistrate, and therefore resulting in backlogs.

The government says it is set to build 30 magistrates’ courts throughout the country after Denmark, through the Danish International Development Agency, provided funds to the Judicial Service Commission for the project meant to strengthen justice delivery in the country.

Tenders were invited Tuesday for companies to build the courts, beginning with Victoria Falls, Nkayi, and Binga in Matabeleland North, which all have make-shift courts manned by only one magistrate, and therefore resulting in backlogs.

A statement from the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, which will provide project management, including architectural, quantity surveying and engineering, reads: "The government of Denmark through Danida has provided funds in support of the JSC of Zimbabwe with a broad aim of enhancing access to justice in Zimbabwe by strengthening the JSC's capacity for service delivery throughout the country.”

The statement adds that the fund holder for this programme is the Legal Resources Foundation, adding some of the money will be allocated towards the construction of the courts.

"The LRF invites bids from building contractors registered with the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing for construction of magistrates' courts, including civil, electrical and mechanical facilities."

Lawyer and former Tsholotsho magistrate Lizwe Jamela says the move is welcome, adding make-shift courts usually delay the delivery of justice.

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