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HCC lobbies for municipal courts

Local News
Harare City Mayor Jacob Mafume

HARARE mayor Jacob Mafume has appealed to the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) to establish a municipal court system that deals with cases that include breaching of traffic, health and environmental by-laws.

Addressing journalists last week, Mafume described the normal court system as too cumbersome.

His proposals come hard on the heals of a backlash from ratepayers who are protesting over the militant manner the local authority has been enforcing by-laws.

“We are a big city, almost three million people. We have a range of laws, levies, penalties, fines and punitive measures that we give to the public. We need to establish a municipal court system,” Mafume said.

“I hope that the JSC will consider it because we have good relations. We offered them land to build more courts. They want a court in Highfield, in Tafara and also want to build a court in Budiriro. We have offered them land, so I do understand that our relations are good.

“We, therefore, need municipal courts that can arbitrate on the excesses by any of our officers or council itself. The normal court system is long.”

Before backing down on hefty parking penalties following a public outcry, Mafume had indicated that Harare City Council (HCC) was implementing by-laws which had not been religiously implemented.

“What we have seen progress over the years is the decline of our CBD [central business district], the non-implementation of by-laws. We are talking about traffic by-laws. There are other health-related and environmental by-laws that are not religiously enforced,” he said.

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