chief justice chidyausiku.jpgThe New legal year has been opened at the High Court, amid concerns by Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku that financial constraints have hindered the Judiciary Service Commission from achieving intended results.

 

The establishment of the Judiciary Service Commission, which was meant to enhance independence of the judiciary, has not achieved much due to financial constraints.

 

This came out during the opening of the new legal year at the High Court in Harare, where Chief Justice Godfrey Chidyausiku highlighted that the limited resources and lack of funding is hampering progress in turning the commission into a fully operational independent entity.

 

Chief Justice Chidyausiku added that there is need to avail resources to the commission to ensure a sustainable judiciary.

 

“It is not a secret that the conditions of service for judges and other judiciary officers are embarrassingly poor. The coming into operation of the Judiciary Service Act, which moved the magistrates and support staff from the public service into the newly created judicial service, has not managed to improve the conditions of the staff as they have remained on the low levels of remuneration that treasury had budgeted for them as employment for that year,” Chief Justice Chidyausiku said.

 

Chief Justice Chidyausiku expressed concern over the passing of comments on matters which are before the courts by lawyers and legislators, saying the judiciary is an independent arm of the state which must provide legal solutions to problems without interference.

 

The judiciary has been accused of corruption, a cancer which analysts have attributed to poor remuneration.

 

This year, the occasion was attended by Acting Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs, Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa, President of the Senate, Cde Edna Madzongwe, Harare Mayor, Muchadeyi Masunda, representatives from the magistrate, Attorney General’s office, service chiefs and lawyers.

 

Lawyers who attended the occasion commended the Chief Justice’s speech, saying the independence of the judiciary is critical to the creation of a free and prosperous society.