The Parliamentary Thematic Committee on Human Rights has urged government to construct more courts in order to increase access to justice by citizens.
BY VENERANDA LANGA
The committee last week presented its first report on the justice delivery system in Zimbabwe where it also encouraged government to improve conditions of service for all State institutions in the justice delivery system to minimise institutional lethargy, motivate employees, promote greater effectiveness and efficiency, as well as reduce corruption.
“The committee is encouraged by steady flow of cases to the Constitutional Court, but however, observes the need to provide court registries with adequate equipment,” the committee report read.
“The committee urges government to expedite the construction of courts, as well as equipping the courts with relevant tools of trade to increase access to justice for citizens.”
They also recommended upgrading of prison infrastructure.
“There is need to increase funding on the part of government to the correctional services and police so that detention facilities’ infrastructure could be upgraded, provision of adequate nutrition, clothing and other social amenities could be enhanced so as to meet human standards of treatment for prisoners and detainees.”
The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) was urged to exercise their powers in terms of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act fairly.
“Suspects should be brought to court within 48 hours regardless of public holidays and weekends. The rule is that if not taken to court within the 48 hours the suspect should be released according to Section 50 of the Constitution,” the committee said.
The report said shortage of resources besetting the ZRP hindered them to attend crime scenes with necessary materials to collect evidence and samples such as chemicals or rape kits.