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Lupane Magistrates courthouse almost complete

by Staff reporter
08 Nov 2021 at 05:25hrs | Views
CONSTRUCTION of the Lupane Magistrates courthouse is almost complete with the main building, prison holding cells, waiting shed and ablution facilities already roofed.

This comes as Government is working on building courts at grassroots level in communities countrywide, in an effort to improve access to justice delivery.

Government through the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) rolled out the construction of courthouses countrywide in an effort to bring justice system closer to communities.

Besides the Lupane court which is located near the Grain Marketing Board depot north of Lupane Centre, JSC is also constructing Gwanda Magistrates' Courts as well as Epworth Magistrates' Courts in Harare among several other projects.

Plans are underway to build courts in Nkulumane and Cowdray Park suburbs in Bulawayo, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi told Parliament during a pre- budget seminar in Victoria Falls recently.

A Chronicle news crew visited the Lupane Court construction site and observed that the court building which will be housing two courtrooms, two offices for magistrates, National Prosecution Authority (NPA) offices as well as one office each for police, court interpreters, clerk of court, court administrator, accounts and reception has been roofed.

Walls have been plastered both inside and outside with window frames fitted. Electrical fittings have also been made while work is underway to lay sewer pipes which are already on site and the trenches into septic tanks already dug.

The court building was designed in the modern "U" shaped structure in which one of the courtrooms will be fitted with victim friendly unit facilities for efficient access to justice by all, a standard JSC has been benchmarking within the last decade.

A well-ventilated prison cell building has already been roofed and walls plastered.

The cells have ablution and shower facilities, in line with the country's move towards providing correctional services as opposed to punishing offenders.

A waiting shed has also been completed and roofed. There were no workmen on site when the news crew visited and only two female security guards were guarding the premises.

The Department of Public Works is the contractor. There are piles of bricks, quarry stones, gravel and other building material as well as sewer pipes. The courthouse construction has missed a number of deadlines before.

The Lupane Court is a critical facility in the Matabeleland North provincial capital as the JSC and NPA have been using some offices at the District Development Coordinator's office as Courts and offices.

The new facility will also improve accessibility by every member of the public who seeks justice services as it has more space compared to the current set up. In the long run, the facility will pave way for construction of a permanent High Court for Matabeleland North, with the upper court currently relying on doing circuits at the Hwange Magistrates' Courts.

In an interview, Matabeleland North Provincial Minister Richard Moyo said the court building is one of the many projects being spearheaded by the Second Republic.

"This is testimony of the commitment of the Second Republic and as Matabeleland North we are grateful for the projects done so far. Remember we have the Lupane Provincial Hospital which is under construction, the Government Complex which will soon be completed and see us relocating to Lupane, Bubi-Lupane dam and irrigation, and other projects like Unit 7 and 8. Most of these projects are nearing completion," said Moyo.

Source - The Chronicle