GWERU — High Court judge Justice Maxwell Takuva yesterday disclosed that 806 criminal cases have remained uncleared at the magistrates courts in the Midlands province because the suspects had skipped bail and were reportedly on the run.
BY STAFF REPORTER
Speaking at the official opening of the Gweru High Court circuit, Justice Takuva said the high number of court defaulters was worrisome and painted a bad image of the justice delivery system.
“Further, I am advised that there are a lot of fugitives from justice in this province . . . these fugitives put the justice delivery system into disrepute by rendering it dysfunctional. In the circumstances, I urge the police to pursue them vigorously wherever they might be and bring them to book,” the judge said.
“The fight against corruption requires a high degree of consciousness and passion to pursue and realise justice and fairness for all . . . improving the capacity of law enforcement agencies to detect investigate and prevent such activities.”
Gweru has the highest number of fugitives with a total of 385 suspects having defaulted court, while Kwekwe has 143, Gokwe is in third place with 87 fugitives.
One high profile case is the hunt for the notorious Edward Masendeke who went on the run after allegedly murdering Jonathan Mpofu of Mbizo on March 29 last year.
Although his co-accused and brothers Elson and Ernest were nabbed, the matter is yet to be set down for trial as police are yet to account for Edward who is believed to have played a leading role in the alleged murder.