Personnel from the justice and law and order sectors are attending a two day sign language workshop in Masvingo that aims at capacitating them to be in a better position to handle cases which involve people with speech and hearing impairments.

This comes after the realisation that communication barriers between law enforcement agents and those with speech and hearing impairments can prove difficult, resulting in the officers failing to adequately assist those in need of help.

Mrs Mabel Msika

“The workshop was necessitated by the realisation that there are gaps in the administration of justice as officers of the law are not equipped with this key official national language of signs. In some instances, unnecessary arrests are made due to communication breakdown,” said Mrs Mabel Msika, the Director of Policy and Legal Research in the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. 

There is hope that raining those in the justice sector as well as the law enforcement agents in sign language will therefore ensure that they are in a better position to handle cases.

The workshop is expected to be followed by more such forums as the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs and its partners work towards improving the justice delivery services.

Sign language is one of the 16 official languages recognised under the 2013 constitution of Zimbabwe.