By Fidelis Munyoro
President Mnangagwa has appointed five new judges to the High Court bench in an effort to solidify the judicial organ and ensure expedience in justice delivery.
The judges comprising four men and one woman are expected to take oath of office before Chief Justice Luke Malaba when the final term of the 2019 Legal Year opens next month.
Veteran lawyer Advocate Webster Chinamora, prominent Bulawayo lawyer Christopher Dube-Banda, Labour Court judge Evengelista Kabasa, Zimra head legal department Siyabona Msithu and Sunsley Zisengwe, who boasts shining legal accolades after he obtained first-class law degrees at both undergraduate and master’s levels, are the latest to join the High Court bench.
They were among the cast of 18 candidates nominated to contest for eight vacancies of the High Court bench last month.
Judicial Service Commission (JSC) acting secretary Mr Walter Chikwana yesterday confirmed the appointment of the five.
“His Excellency the President has made the appointments of the five to the High Court bench,” he said, adding, “The Chief Justice (Luke Malaba) will preside over the swearing in ceremony of the five on September 4.”
The judges were appointed following public interviews held by the JSC last month, which seeks to increase transparency and enhance good governance.
The five were among the list of top performers, whose names were recommended for appointment by the JSC.
After the interviews, the JSC sent a list of “qualified persons as nominees” for the available posts.
The appointment of the five judges is expected to ease the workload that had reached breaking point, affecting the bench’s capacity to timeously dispense with cases requiring determination.
In one of the judgments, in February this year, Justice Tawanda Chitapi bemoaned the immense pressure the higher court operated under due to increased workload.
He made the remarks while delivering judgment in a dispute over a residential stand in Goromonzi involving Blessing Mureyani and Ms Maggie Genti.
Judgment in the case had delayed for almost three years. Justice Chitapi’s sentiments resonated with Chief Justice Malaba’s remarks during the official opening of the 2019 Legal Year in January.
In his keynote address, the Chief Justice noted the workload of the High Court judges. He said the judges worked under extremely difficult conditions.
“It is anticipated that in 2019 what remains clear is that the judges of that court are overworked,” he said adding, “More judges are required to lessen the burden on the judges’ shoulders.”