Some Masvingo residents have welcomed the opening of a permanent High Court in the city, saying they will no longer be travelling to Bulawayo and Harare for court cases handled by this arm of the judiciary system.
One of the residents, Brian Banda, said the move by government was welcome though it came a bit too late.
“It’s really a positive development to have a permanent judge and High Court here. It is quite a good move because we need to decentralise things so that people do not have to depend on Harare and Bulawayo. However we feel that this could have been done a long time ago as it was not good for people to travel to Harare and Bulawayo to access the services of the High Court.”
Another local resident, Mugovera Makonese, urged government to open more High Court structures in most parts of the country and stop focusing on issues that don’t add value to people’s lives, including the recent one million march organized by the ruling party’s Youth League to show support for President Robert Mugabe.
“I think it is a very welcome development to Masvingo province and the country at large in terms of the decentralisation of the judiciary services. However, I believe it’s a case of misplaced priorities that 36 years after independence we are celebrating the opening of the High Court in a province for the first time. We hope that they will open more in various districts with speed.”
Speaking at the official opening ceremony, Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku admitted that the decentralisation of the judiciary system was long overdue.
“I want to commend the Judiciary Service Commission for a job well-done but this could have been done a long time ago but we say its better late than never.”
Speaking at the same occasion, Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa, who is also the Legal and ParliamentaryAffairs Minister, said government would work tireless to speed up the decentralisation of the High Court services to all the provinces.
“The decentralisation of the High Court to Masvingo is therefore a welcome development particularly to the Business community as they no longer need to travel to Harare and Bulawayo for the resolution of disputes as they will be done here. My ministry is also working on reviewing the cost of the service of the judiciary so that they can be affordable to residents.”
Masvingo becomes the first province to have a permanent High Court since independence as such courts were established in Harare and Bulawayo during the colonial era.