THE Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has adopted a five-year strategic plan that seeks to ensure the country’s courts deliver world-class justice to all litigants.
REPORT BY STAFF REPORTER
Speaking at the swearing-in of Patience Vutuza as a Mutare magistrate last week, chief magistrate Mishrod Guvamombe said the organisation’s vision was to ensure that judicial officers were adequately equipped to effectively discharge their duties.
“Being a magistrate is not a stroll in the park. It is a calling specifically meant for those people who are expected to live a blameless life,” said Guvamombe.
“Magistrates make decisions which inevitably leave indelible marks on the lives of all litigants who appear before them.”
He said the magistrates’ courts were the mirror of justice in the country by virtue of the volumes and complexity of cases they handle.
“More than 90% of all litigation in the country happens in these courts because for most cases they are the courts of first instance. Therefore, your duty as a magistrate needs not be understated. The average citizen neither has means nor resources to pursue their matters through to the superior courts no matter how unjust or irrational your decision as magistrate may be.”
Guvamombe also sounded warning shots against corrupt magistrates saying the JSC would deal ruthlessly with those caught offside.
He said the JSC could not afford to be tainted by unscrupulous magistrates and, as such, ruthless action would be taken against those found wanting.
“It would be irresponsible and very remiss on our part to deny the existence of corrupt elements within all organisations involved in the administration of justice,” said Guvamombe.
“Many organisations have given up the fight against corruption and are simply hoping for divine intervention to stop corruption. The Judicial Service Commission is, however, not relenting in that fight.
He said no opportunists would be accepted on the bench and that all magistrates should go through rigorous training so that they would do their work diligently.