A top lawyer this Saturday pleaded with judges in the High Court to dedicate more time and commitment to their work so that justice is delivered timeously.
Speaking at a ceremony held to celebrate the recent appointment of Kwekwe lawyer Martin Makonese to the bench, Edwin Manikai of Dube, Manikai and Hwacha, said judges appeared not to have time to do their work, which resulted in delayed judgments.
“It appears judges no longer have time or commitment to their work. This has resulted in the delay in delivering judgment in most cases . . . justice delayed is justice denied and we hope that since you (Justice Makonese) are coming from private practice you are aware of these challenges and you will make a difference,” said Manikai.
The lawyer also lamented the state of Zimbabwean courts saying they no longer represented the image of the justice system in the country.
He then called on fellow lawyers to join hands and find ways of ensuring the reputation of the courts is maintained.
Speaking at the same event Justice Garainesu Mawadze acknowledged the problems and challenges raised by Manikai but said he had no authority to discuss them in public.
“I hear the issues raised by Manikai, but I am not the best person to address them. They can best be addressed by the Judge President. All I can say is to welcome Justice Makonese to the bench. You (Justice Makonese) have joined us in a very lonely profession. There is a lot of work and it’s not rewarding,” said Justice Mawadze.
The statement was also reiterated by Justice Maphios Cheda, who studied in the same class with Justice Makonese. Justice Cheda said once appointed, judges lost friends. Even their former lawyer colleagues desert them, he said.
“Lawyers gossip about judges, but we are not worried because after that I get into my Mercedes Benz and drive away comfortably,” said Cheda.
Makonese entered private practice in 1987 before starting his law firm in Kwekwe in 1989, which he has been running until his recent appointment to the bench.