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Zimbabwe Govt lies about ICJ intervention in 'Public Violence Cases'

08 Feb 2019 at 19:59hrs | Views
The Government of Zimbabwe, through the Deputy Minister of Information and Publicity, Nick Mangwana, has blatantly lied it was not aware that International Commission of Jurist (ICJ) had intervened and raised alarm over the observance of the "Rule of Law" in the country's judicial system.

Asked, during a Policy Dialogue Forum held at sapestrust last night, whether it was true that "the International Commission of Jurists had taken measures directly with the government of Zimbabwe in support of the largest trial monitoring intervention that has ever happened in Zimbabwe by both local and regional players" Mangwana responded, "I have never heard of it!!!"

Meanwhile, and, in apparent conflict of facts, the Chief Justice of Zimbabwe, Luke Malaba together with the Judicial Service Commission, has issued a statement to address numerous concerns expressed by the International Commission of Jurists and the Law Society of Zimbabwe amongst other local and international players, over the excesses of the millitary including killings and rape of alleged protestors during what is popularly known as "SHUTDOWN" and subsequent "Mass Trials" currently prevailling in the country to date.

In his statement, the Chief Justice noted with concern accusations of predetermined or instructive dispensation of Justice, the denial of bail, mass trials and refusal of magistrates to hear legal practitioners. He reminded lawyers that avenues are available for substantiated complaints against the conduct of any judicial officer whose actions are extra-judicial. "Where there is a suspicion that the magistrate has acted on an extra-judicial instruction or has been swayed or influenced unbecomingly, that is an ethical issue, which should be reported to the Judicial Service Commission", he said.

To that end, the Chief Justice has instructed the Acting Secretary of the Judicial Service Commission to constitute a tactical committee of members from the following stakeholders-: the Acting Chief Magistrate and his deputy, representatives from the Law Society of Zimbabwe, the National Prosecuting Authority, the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services.

The purpose of the committee will be to address all issues and take all adminstrative measures to ensure speedy trials, with due respect to the rights of accused persons to expedient and efficient justice. The committee will, through its chairperson, report to the Chief Justice until all the issues have been addressed to the satisfaction of all the stakeholders.

Advocate Walter Nyabadza is a Zimbabwean Human Rights and Constitutional lawyer, Legal Advisor for the National Reclamation Assembly and Writer.

Source - Advocate Walter Nyabadza
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