BY Nkululeko Sibanda
THE Affirmative Action Group (AAG) has accused Bulawayo High Court registrar, Gibson Mandaza of failing to professionally discharge his duties and engaging in corrupt activities.
The pressure group, on February 28, 2019, wrote to the secretary of the Judicial Services Commission (JSC), Walter Chikwanha, raising a litany of allegations against Mandaza, claiming he was now a stumbling block to self-actors seeking justice.
“The gross contempt displayed by the (Bulawayo High Court) registrar (Mandaza) towards the plight of self-actors seeking justice is appalling and inconsistent with the Judicial Services Commission’s mandate to ensure justice,” said AAG’s Matabeleland chapter’s principal officer, Denzel Sita in the letter.
“On several occasions, this registrar has refused clients access to files, even going as far as refusing to see clients citing that he has more important issues
with the Chief Justice.
“Which begs the question: Is it not the mandate of these office bearers to assist litigants and take note of their concerns? Are these courts not for these litigants who wish to access the services of the (same) courts?”
Contacted for comment, Mandaza referred questions to his principal, Chikwanha who said he would look into the matter.
“Talk to my boss, the secretary of the JSC. I am not allowed to talk to the Press. He will respond to the issues. I am sorry I can’t respond,” he said.
Chikwanha said he had been out of the office, but would certainly act on the matter.
“If the letter is dated February 28, it’s just a few days ago. I was away from the office. Thank you for bringing this issue to my attention. I will look into the issue when I see the letter, most probably tomorrow (today),” said Chikwanha.
Sita, in his letter, also accused Mandaza of corruption, claiming that he had been demanding and taking “payments” from litigants who approached the courts.
“The practice of office bearers of soliciting for payments from litigants for services that are performed for free must come to an end. Should the commission fail to address this issue, it shall result, as it partially has, in the collapse of the judicial system and we cannot stand by and let members be harassed by
people who are (supposed) to serve them,” Sita added.
Information at hand suggests that Mandaza was transferred to Bulawayo from Harare, where he had been working under the tutelage of former chief magistrate, Mishrod Guvamombe.