harare-magistrates-court.03.09.10.jpgLegal experts say the continued failure by the Zimbabwe Prison Services to bring prisoners to court is a major blow to the justice delivery system.

Harare lawyer Mr. Pisirayi Kwenda says the trend is prejudicial to prisoners especially those who are in custody.

 

He said the whole purpose of putting suspects in custody is defeated if prisoners are not brought to court.

Another lawyer Tambudzai Gonese is of the opinion that prisoners can only air their views if they come to court.

“Prisoners are put in custody to secure their attendance of their trial; however this development will defeat the whole process as the suspects are being disadvantaged as they are put on remand for more than a month without going to court. This also creates backlogs in the courts,” Gonese said.

Another lawyer, Advocate Aston Musunga said the prison authorities are putting the court in a difficult situation as they are sometimes stuck with suspects who are supposed to be in custody after court appearances.

The Zimbabwe Prison Services has for the past two weeks failed to bring prisoners to Rotten Row and other courts, a development that legal expert say will have long term negative effects on the justice delivery system.

According to the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act, suspects who are on remand are supposed to be brought to court after every 14 days.

Meanwhile, ZPS say they have been facing transport challenges as the truck which they use to ferry prisoners to court has a mechanical problem.