THE Constitutional Court building, which also houses the Supreme Court of Appeal, is the most insecure State building in the country amid revelations that no permanent police details are based at the complex round the clock, NewsDay has learnt.
The shocking revelations are contained in a letter from the acting Judicial Services Commission (JSC) secretary Justice Rita Makarau to Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri dated September 4 2014.
The letter was written in light of the recent burglary at Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku’s chambers at Mashonganyika Building earlier this week.
“I write to request for security arrangements to be put in place for Mashonganyika Building which houses the Supreme and the Constitutional courts. I wish to bring to your attention, Commissioner-General, that whilst we have police details at the High Court and Parliament Building where the Supreme Court used to sit, we do not have a similar arrangement in place for Mashonganyika Building,” Makarau wrote.
“Needleless to say this compromises the security of the Chief Justice and all other judges of the Supreme Court.”
Makarau has also received another report of security breach at the same building where keys to the offices of four Supreme Court judges – Justices Paddington Garwe, Anne-Mary Gowora, Elizabeth Gwaunza and Antonia Guvava – have been stolen.
“As I am writing to you, the acting Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Munamato Mutevedzi, has just reported that the spare keys to the chambers of four Supreme Court judges have gone missing from the place where they are normally kept for easy access to the judge’s clerks and cleaning staff,” Justice Makarau continued in her letter to Chihuri.
“Whilst we are in the process of securing the affected chambers by changing the keys, we are concerned by the turn of events, happening as it does immediately after the break-in at the Chief Justice’s office.”
On Sunday last week, the entire JSC was left baffled when burglars allegedly broke into Justice Chidyausiku’s office and walked away with his desk-top computer and a television set.
The break-in, according to Justice Makarau, was the first incident to occur in the country where burglars have had access into the judges’ offices although similar burglaries into magistrates’ offices have been sporadically reported countrywide.