Judge laments corruption in judiciary


HWANGE — High Court judge Justice Martin Makonese yesterday described as disturbing a trend of corrupt activities being reported in lower courts where judicial officials are accused of accepting bribes.

Justice Makonese made the remarks when he officially opened the Hwange High Court Circuit.
“Some criminals even boast that you can never go to jail if you have money,” he said.

“What this means is that it is the poor who have no money who only end up doing jail time.”

The judge also castigated lawyers who acted as agents for their clients in bribing judicial officers.
He said the lawyers were equally guilty of corruption.

“There should be zero tolerance to corruption and any officer of the law caught on the wrong side must be punished heavily to send the correct message to like-minded persons,” Justice Makonese said.

The circuit court will deal with 14 murder cases over a period of two weeks.

A number of the cases on the roll arose from misunderstandings at beer-drinking sessions.
Justice Makonese also expressed concern over the high number of cases of domestic violence.
“Spouses are brutalising and abusing each other,” he said.

“In some sad stories, lives have been needlessly lost and there is need for stiffer sentencing in this regard. A clear signal must be sent to members of the public that if you assault your wife or husband, you may receive a custodial sentence from the courts.

“We are an educated society and cannot accept barbarism as a way of life.”

The event was attended by provincial service chiefs, provincial heads of government departments, traditional chiefs and members of the legal fraternity.

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