Mathew Masinge

THERE has been a serious drop in the number of judges in the High Court either due to disciplinary action, retirement, death or resignation in the past three years, an official has said.

This was said by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) secretary, Walter Chikwanha.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the swearing in of 11 new judges of the High Court and one for the Administrative Court by Chief Justice Luke Malaba in Harare yesterday.

This also included the swearing in of the deputy Judge President Garainesu Mawadze.

Justice Mawadze joined the High Court after his appointment in 2010.

Justice Mary Dube is the Judge President.

The 11 judges, who joined the bench, are Naison Chivayo, Regis Dembure, Mpokiseng Dube, Joel Mambara, Gibson Mandaza, Faith Mushure, Vivian Ndlovu, Ngoni Nduna, Philipa Phillips and Sijabuliso Siziba.

This brings the number of Judges of the High Court to 68.

“We had a serious meltdown of judges through various reasons such as death, disciplinary processes that have been taken by the Judicial Services Commission.

“Because of that we had a shortage of judges, especially in the High Court and in the Administrative Court. Justice Mandeya has retired so he needed to be replaced,” said Chikwanha.

He said the appointment of the Deputy Judge President of the High Court was very important.

“The Judge President needed some assistance since the High Court is decentralising, as the superintendent who handles all the work the burden has to be lessened.

“The honourable Chief Justice and the Judge President will now have the prerogative to deploy the new judges so that they can start work immediately,” he said.

He said JSC will be opening a new High Court in Gwanda.

Some of the judges will be deployed in Bulawayo. Law Society of Zimbabwe president, Rumbidzai Matambo, welcomed the new appointments.

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