The opening of the High and Supreme Courts, due today, will be delayed while protective equipment is sourced for all who work in these courts and with Chief Justice Luke Malaba today expected to issue a statement on the country’s courts activities and measures before the resumption of business.
The courts have been attending to urgent matters, mainly remands, bail hearings and matters deemed urgent but the bulk of legal work, civil hearings and criminal trials, have been put on hold. Judicial Service Commission secretary Mr Walter Chikwanha told The Herald yesterday, a delay in the opening of the courts is inevitable.
“The Chief Justice will tomorrow make a statement on the judiciary position. Courts cannot open to the public without necessary equipment,” he said.
“We need to acquire personal protective equipment for all the members of the judiciary who are going to man the courts including judges and magistrates, in compliance with the regulations and requirements announced by the President in this regard. As result we may delay opening courts by a few days.”
President Mnangagwa last Friday extended the lockdown by another two weeks, but allowed formal businesses to reopen under strict conditions, while an $18 billion package to resuscitate all economic sectors and vulnerable groups was announced. As part of the conditions for further relaxation announced by the President, it will be compulsory to wear masks in reopened businesses and outside homes, although these can be home-made. Businesses will have to have ensure that all employees are tested by public health authorities before opening and have temperature scanners.