The traditional ceremony to mark the official opening of the 2021 Legal Year has been cancelled owing to the need to minimise risk of Covid-19 infection by the Judicial Service Commission, but Chief Justice Luke Malaba will give the usual speech virtually on Monday.
The Chief Justice was expected to officially open the 2021 Legal Year at the Constitutional Court on Monday, according to the letters sent out to invited guests including members of the legal fraternity, diplomatic corps, high-ranking government officials and media houses.
The JSC head of communications Ms Rumbidzai Takawira said the physical ceremony, which sees judges in full robes and wigs marching into court, had been cancelled.
“The event has been cancelled but the Chief Justice will deliver his statement on Monday, which will be sent out to all the stakeholders including media houses,” she said.
The Chief Justice has since suspended all court business and scaled back other courthouse activities in the wake of surging Covid-19 cases. Only initial criminal remands, bail applications and urgent applications are being attended to.
The move to suspend most court operations comes after Health and Child Care Minister Vice President Dr Constantino Chiwenga announced on Saturday that the country was moving from Level Two of the national lockdown back to Level Four for the next 30 days.
The surge in the number of new infections and deaths had prompted the Government to take swift action to contain the situation.