MASVINGO — High Court judge Justice Charles Hungwe has proposed use of latest technology like Skype to expedite the trial of murder cases, cut down on travel costs and reduce the backlog.
Report by Tatenda Chitagu
Officially opening the Masvingo High Court Circuit yesterday, Justice Hungwe urged the courts to consider the use of Skype as well as other information and communication technology (ICT) tools in trying criminal cases so as to cut costs.
“Some of these costs can be curtailed if the criminal trial process is modernised to reduce the length of criminal trials where this can be justly achieved,” Justice Hungwe said.
“There is also need for legislation permitting overseas witnesses to give evidence remotely by video link which could also substantially reduce costs of criminal trials to the public purse. What comes to mind is the role information and communication technology can play in evidence capture, preservation and its eventual presentation during trial.
“In the last 12 months, a total of 110 cases were committed for trial in this High Court Circuit. Out of those, only 23 were completed. Therefore, there is a total of 87 cases pending trial before this circuit. The picture painted by these statistics is a slow justice delivery system. The physical accommodation for criminal trials for outstations in Zimbabwe is disgracefully inadequate.”