Auxilia Katongomara Bulawayo Bureau
Bulawayo courts have been commended for working hard to clear the backlog of cases at both the High Court and the lower courts. Deputy Chief Justice Luke Malaba said the Bulawayo High Court and lower courts had cleared their backlog, a confirmation that the judicial officers were working hard in line with theJudicial Service Commission’s vision.
Officially opening the 2017 legal year at the High Court in Bulawayo yesterday, DCJ Malaba said there was need to increase judges on the bench.
“It is because of the dedication to duty by the six judges, with the cooperation of the legal profession and the staff under the able leadership of senior judge Justice Francis Bere that I am able to report to you the positive results.
“The results from the Bulawayo High Court display self-application, determination and sheer hard work despite a high number of average cases each judge had to deal with,” said DCJ Malaba.
He said 99 percent of 2016 criminal cases had been concluded.
“Guided by a total of 5 591 received cases, in addition to those carried over from 2015, the amount of work is clearly overwhelming. From an analysis of these figures, there is need to expand the Bulawayo bench because the workload remains high,” he said.
DCJ Malaba said the Bulawayo judges were still battling with the backlog from 2015, notwithstanding the clearance rate.
“Overrally, all the judges have been working as hard as is humanly possible, but the workload is high. Even if you put the best men and women together, they would still be overwhelmed”.
DCJ Malaba said the six judges managed to clear 4 993 cases from 5 591 cases from both the civil and criminal divisions. He said going forward, plans were afoot to renovate the Bulawayo High Court to match courthouses of similar stature.
The DCJ also commended the Bulawayo Labour Court for a job well done saying the station received a total of 540 cases in 2016 made up of appeals, reviews and applications and a total of 628 matters were completed and the concluded cases included the 2015 backlog, translating to a 116 percent clearance rate.
Article Source: The Herald