THE Judiciary Service Commission (JSC) yesterday defended Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku’s tough stance against “lazy” judges.
BY CHARLES LAITON
Addressing a Press conference in Harare yesterday, JSC acting secretary Justice Rita Makarau said Justice Chidyausiku would not be deterred by complaints raised by some of the judges he singled out as lazy when he opened the 2015 Legal Year last month.
Justice Makarau said they had already started observing an improvement in judges’ performance since then.
Her statement follows a complaint by 21 High Court judges in a letter dated January 28 where they accused their boss of being “out of touch with modern trends in the justice delivery system”.
“Having received a memorandum from the judges of the High Court at Harare on January 28 2014, in response to his speech at the opening of the 2015 Legal Year, the Chief Justice stands by his speech,” Justice Makarau said.
“The remarks that the Chief Justice made at the opening of the legal year were meant to make judges aware that there are unacceptable levels of underperformance that cannot escape censure and equally under the same circumstances there is performance that sets benchmarks of what is achievable. His remarks have had the desired salutary effect on judges of the High Court.
“In the two weeks of January 2015 following his remarks, a total of 105 judgments have been handed down. This is an average of three judgments per judge in two weeks. In particular, the Chief Justice has noted that even the judge who handed three judgments for the whole year 2014 has already handed down two judgments in the first two weeks of 2015.
“Review records received by two of the underperforming judges in 2008 have now been attended to and sentences of the magistrates concerned have been confirmed or corrected, six years later,” she said.
“ The Chief Justice maintains his position that there will be no end to the fight between him and the underperforming judges unless they improve. In future the Chief Justice will report all underperforming judges to the JSC for the procedures set out in section 187 of the Constitution to unfold.”