Two new High Court judges for Bulawayo


Retired Supreme Court judge Justice Misheck Cheda has been recalled to help ease the backlog at the Bulawayo High Court.

This was announced by Judge President George Chiweshe at the official opening of the 2012 legal year at the Bulawayo High Court yesterday.

Newly-appointed High Court judge Justice Martin Makonese was also added to the Bulawayo bench bringing the number of judges to five.

Justice Cheda joins his younger brother Justice Maphios Cheda on the Bulawayo High Court bench.

Justice Chiweshe said the volume of work at the High Court continued to increase, a development he said had impacted negatively on the operations of the court.

“Ideally the complement of judges at the High Court in Bulawayo is a minimum of five.

“In 2011 the complement has been four,” he said.

“This development (which is fortunately being addressed) has negatively impacted on the operations of the High Court in Bulawayo.

“Further, the structure of the High Court building does not allow much room for expansion.

“In short, at most we can only have three courts sitting simultaneously.

“On some days the judges have to share a courtroom, i.e., one sitting only after the other has adjourned.”

He said the Ministry of Public Works had been consulted to create a fourth courtroom.

“Bail applications are being held in judges’ chambers. A more flexible method of setting down of opposed matter is being used,” Justice Chiweshe said.

“Individual judges set the matter on days when courtrooms are available.

“There is in place a deliberate policy to encourage litigants to settle out of court and avoid unnecessary litigations.”

Justice Chiweshe said out of the criminal cases coming for trial at the High Court, the majority of them were from Matabeleland South putting pressure on the Bulawayo High Court.

“The alternative option is the opening of a High Court circuit in Matabeleland South.

“This is an option that has to be seriously considered,” he said.

The ceremony started with Justice Chiweshe inspecting a quarter guard mounted by the police and prison services, accompanied by Justices Francis Bere, Lawrence Kamocha, Nicholas Ndou, Misheck Cheda and Makonese.

Bulawayo and Gwanda mayors Thaba Moyo and Lionel DeNecker, Labour Court presidents Selo Nare and Mary-Moya Matshanga, service chiefs and members of the legal fraternity graced the occasion.