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'Number of litigants appearing in courts rises'

by Staff reporter
30 Aug 2019 at 08:09hrs | Views
CHIEF Justice, Luke Malaba, yesterday said the number of litigants has since the beginning of the year been on the increase in the country's courts with statistics showing a decline in the backlog of cases.

CJ Malaba revealed this during his tour of newly refurbished court facilities at Tredgold Building and Western Commonage magistrates' court.  

"What we have in our courts throughout the country is an increase in litigation. We therefore plan basing on such workload particularly looking at the need to recruit more magistrates or any other staff in our offices. However, this increase in litigation is a good thing because if people come to court in numbers, effectively, it means people are not fighting out there and solving problems on their own. They are looking at courts and that is the correct route," he said.

CJ Malaba said in terms of backlog of cases, there has been a tremendous improvement, which he attributed to a dedicated staff.

"The backlog of cases will always be an issue of concern to me as Chief Justice for a number of reasons. It is actually a reflection either of shortage or sufficiency of manpower, which in itself is a problem that we need to attend to. It can also be a reflection of lack of skill in those who man all the offices because all these offices work together. However, I am happy that so far after my speech at the beginning of the legal year when we accessed the levels of the backlog of cases countrywide, the indication at that stage was that we are on top of the situation as we don't have a worrisome backlog," he said.

CJ Malaba said they, however, continue recording an increased inflow of cases.

"We continue to receive an inflow of cases, an event that many of us would not be anticipating and that takes everyone by surprise, but then it creates a sudden influx of cases and by the time you make a calculation of the cases and you include that and people tend to think that it is a backlog, that is not a backlog because these are the cases that would have just come," he said.

CJ Malaba said backlog cases were those that would not have been dealt by the courts for at least 18 months. He said the refurbishment of courts is in line with the Judicial Service Commission (JSC)'s vision of ensuring a world class justice system in the country.

"What we have witnessed today is a remarkable progress and a clear statement of people who are working together with a clear vision in mind. Our vision at JSC is to reach that dream of a world class justice and it's a broad road that we are following and we are quite clear that it will have many obstacles, some natural and others artificial, but we are clear that we have a very clear roadmap, which has strategies," he said.

CJ Malaba said JSC was committed to ensuring efficiency and effectiveness by improving the working conditions of its staff.

"We want to ensure happiness of our staff and their wellness by making sure that they operate from a healthy environment, which also caters for members of the public who use our courts. We can't achieve our strategies without taking necessary steps to implement those strategies and it is very critical that we have the correct people because strategies are implemented by people with a correct mindset, attitude of mind, people who are positive and capable of being leaders of their own," he said.

The newly refurbished courtrooms are equipped with new furniture of high quality.

"We have put furniture that clearly testifies to durability and high standard, beauty and pleasantness and all those are qualities that come up and make in the overall the way we are a family. I am proud to have come here and we are on the right track. I am proud of the leadership on the ground, which is dedicated to work," said CJ Malaba.

Source - chronicle