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Mnangagwa put drug dealers on notice

by Staff reporter
04 Sep 2021 at 18:42hrs | Views
PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has put drug dealers on notice after nudging judges and magistrates to mete harsh custodial sentences on them in order to curb drug and substance abuse.

He said drug abuse, particularly among the youths, had become a national scourge, which needs to be stemmed.

Mnangagwa was speaking at the official opening of the new Judicial Services Commission (JSC) Chinhoyi Courts building Friday.

"Drug abuse, especially among youths, has become a scourge in the country which has potential to damage society. I would like to see the JSC deal decisively with this scourge, and my government has appointed an inter-ministerial task force to find solutions to this problem," he said.

Other state institutions such as police and other government departments should join forces in ending the vice, he said.

JSC plans to establish a High Court seat following completion of the state-of-the-art composite building that has taken the government 20 years to finish.

The establishment of a seat of the superior court at Chinhoyi would bring the number of High Court seats outside Harare to four.

Others are at Bulawayo, Mutare, and Masvingo.

The new complex in Chinhoyi has eight courtrooms, holding cells, over 40 offices, a library, a canteen, and a kitchen.

Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said the government prioritised citizens' easy access to justice which is one of the pillars of Mnangagwa's administration's economic blueprint, the National Development Strategy (NDS 1) that runs until 2025.

"We acknowledge as a ministry, Your Excellency, that it is undesirable that we still have the presence of the High Court only in five provinces in the country at this stage of our development," he said.

"We are happy that the NDS 1 which is instructive on the need to decentralise our courts, including the High Court, to all provinces will soon correct this anomaly."

Ziyambi added: "As Justice Minister, one of my duties is to superintend over the administration of justice, which includes the provision of court infrastructure to promote and enhance access to justice, which has become a key human rights issue internationally.

"For that reason, it is one of the strategic focus areas of my ministry to ensure that the citizens of this country are able to access the courts close to their homes, and travel the shortest of distance possible to the nearest court."

The new project, which was part of the government's 100-day cycle, was wholly funded by the government is expected to ease judicial officers and other ancillary staff accommodation woes.

The sprawling building will also house the Master and Sheriff of the High Court.

Construction contracted to a Chinese firm, Haulong, with help from the Public Works Ministry, began in 2001 and had been stalled due to lack of funding.

Works re-started early 2018 at the inception of the ‘Second Republic' led by Mnangagwa, which is now curiously taking credit for spearheading massive infrastructural development since ousting long-time ruler, the now late Robert Mugabe.

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