High Court judge Justice Charles Hungwe has heaped praise on Alpha Media Holdings (AMH) for appointing retired Supreme Court judge Justice Ahmed Ebrahim as its Public Ombudsman saying the move should be emulated by other publishers.
AMH, publishers of NewsDay, the Zimbabwe Independent and The Standard, recently appointed Ebrahim to deal with grievances from readers and the public on issues carried in its papers.
The stable became the first media house to appoint a public ombudsman in Zimbabwe.
I read in the print media that one privately owned newspaper has established an in-house ombudsman to offer a similar type of dispute resolution to handle complaints against reportage by that newspapers stable.
This is commendable as it shows initiative regarding practical steps for redress to the public, a redress that is cost-effective in that a complainant does not have a deep pocket for his or her complaint to be fairly and justly resolved, said Hungwe, as he officially opened the 2012 legal year in Mutare yesterday.
Justice Hungwe noted there is need to adopt alternative dispute resolution as part of the judicial mechanisms available to a broad category of disputes.
He said this could reduce the huge backlog the judicial system is currently battling with and result in speedy settlements of disputes. It is suitable for multi-party disputes.
Flexibility of the procedure ensures that the process is determined and controlled by the parties to the dispute. It is less expensive, therefore, affordable to everyone, Hungwe said.