The European Union (EU) has unveiled a $17 million funding programme aimed at strengthening institutions which dispense justice in the country.

Running under the theme: ‘Advancing the Rule of Law and Improving Access to Justice for All,’ the project was launched in Harare today targeting to strengthen the Judicial Service Commission, supported by the International Commission of Jurists, Law Society of Zimbabwe and the Chiefs Council of Zimbabwe in partnership with the Legal Resources Foundation.

Head of the EU delegation to Zimbabwe, Ambassador Phillipe van Damme said the EU remains committed to supporting institutional reforms.

Chief Justice Luke Malaba hailed the partnership with the EU as mutually beneficial and hailed the bloc for respecting the independence of the judiciary and facilitating funding for the improvement of the justice delivery system

The Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Cde Ziyambi Ziyambi reiterated the commitment by the new dispensation to ensuring a credible free and fair election and the respect of rule of law.

President of the Chiefs Council, Chief Fortune Charumbira applauded the EU and the government for availing an opportunity to train traditional leaders in dispensing justice for the rural communities.

The programme is part of the National Indicative Programme (NIP) between the EU and the government of Zimbabwe signed in 2015 to the tune of $230 million and targeting health, agriculture and governance.