Mat South residents demand completion of Gwanda courts

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Gwanda Provincial Magistrates Court

BY NIZBERT MOYO
MATABELELAND South residents have expressed concern over delays in the completion of the Gwanda Provincial Magistrates Court saying this had denied them easy access to justice.

Matabeleland South proportional representative MP Sipho Mokone yesterday told Southern Eye that residents were concerned about the slow pace in the completion of the project.

Mokone, who is also chairperson of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on media, said lack of a provincial court in Matabeleland South resulted in the Justice ministry converting a city building to a makeshift provincial magistrates court.

She said the building had been used as a court for more than 10 years, hence the need to speed up construction works.

“Our concern is that the building that is being hired is too small, and people are always crammed.

Most of the big cases such as murder and divorce are not handled there and end up being transferred to Bulawayo.

We do not want a makeshift court, we want our own provincial magistrates court which is in sync with the spirit of devolution of power,’’ she said.

Mokone said Gwanda residents were forced to travel to Bulawayo to seek justice.

“I have approached the Justice ministry officials over the matter and they promised that the Gwanda courts would be completed this year.

In January, while officially opening the 2022 legal year, Deputy Chief Justice Elizabeth Gwaunza said the Local Government and Public Works ministry had engaged a contractor who had just moved on-site to complete the project.

The complex is located behind the provincial headquarters in Gwanda town and comprises a basement with holding cells, ground floor with four court rooms and offices, as well as the first floor with court
rooms.

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