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JSC appoints 18 magistrates for special courts

HARARE – The Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has designated 18 magistrates to preside over special courts that will administer justice in cases involving politically-motivated violence and intimidation.

Chief Justice Luke Malaba
Chief Justice Luke Malaba

JSC, Chief Justice Luke Malaba, on Friday gazetted the names of the magistrates through General Notice 431 of 2018.

“It is hereby notified that the Judicial Service Commission has, in terms of section 133L(3) of the Electoral Act (Chapter 2:13), designated the magistrates…to try cases of politically motivated violence and intimidation in the provinces under which their names appear before, during and after the harmonised elections for President, Members of the National Assembly and councillors scheduled to take place on Monday 30th July 2018,” readspart of the notice.

In Harare, the JSC appointed Nyasha Vitorini, RuramaiChitumbura, KudzanayiZhove, Elizabeth Magomore, YeukaiChigodora, Blessing Murwisi and Nyasha Marufu to preside over the cases.

In Matabeleland North, Sithembiso Ncube, Nyaradzo Ringisai, Franklin Mkwamanzi, Tancy Dube, Stephen Ndlovu and Lungile Ncube complete the list of names nominated by the JSC.

Two magistrates were designated for Manicaland, namely Innocent Bepura and Lazarus Murendo.

Masvingo will also have two magistrates namely Takawira Mugabe and Purity Gumbo, while Joshua Mawere will man the court in Matabeleland South.

In April, government announced the setting up of special courts to deal with cases of political violence, as part of its drive to curtail unrest and intimidation ahead of the first post-Robert Mugabe elections set for July.

Past elections had been marred by violence against the opposition by supporters of the 94-year-old Mugabe, who was removed in a de facto military coup in November.

This is the first time that such courts have been established and follows new President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s pledge to hold a free and peaceful vote.

Delivering a vote seen as free and fair is crucial to Zimbabwe’s efforts to mend ties with the West and could help unlock foreign funding and investment needed to revive the struggling economy.

As such, the JSC has been on the market to recruit 60 magistrates and several interpreters to boost efficiency in the justice delivery system and reduce the case backlog at lower courts.

It has since appointed the 60 magistrates from a pool of over 700 applications received.

Government recently gave the JSC the green light to recruit 233 employees in a bid to oil the wheels of justice and to restore the functionality of the courts.

The unfreezing of the posts will result in the organisation recruiting 70 magistrates, 37 court interpreters, 15 clerks of court, 51 assistant registrars, 30 judges’ clerks and 30 drivers between July and November this year.

With effect from September 1, JSC will recruit 10 court interpreters, 20 assistant registrars, 10 drivers, 10 judges’ clerks and the last batch of 10 magistrates.

In November, the commission will recruit 15 clerks of court, 31 assistant registrars, 20 judge’s clerks and 10 drivers. Daily News.