By Nokutenda Chiyangwa
Chief Justice Luke Malaba has commended judges of superior courts and magistrates for a marked improvement in their performance in the 2017 judicial year.
The Judiciary boss attributed the impressive performance to hard work and the adoption of a hands-on supervision approach by heads of the respective courts. Officially opening the 2018 legal year in Harare recently, Chief Justice Malaba said he was happy with the work being done at the courts.
“Individual performance of judges improved remarkably in 2017,” he said. “Hard work contributed to the sharp reduction of the backlog of cases in the superior courts.
“I am pleased with the performance of all courts during the period under review. It is because of the dedication to duty by all members of the Judiciary, with the cooperation of the legal profession and staff, that I am able to report to you these positive results.
“The results display self-application, determination and sheer hard work, despite a high number of cases that each court had to deal with.” The Constitutional Court, according to Chief Justice Malaba, managed to clear more cases in 2017 compared to the previous two years. The High Court in 2016 finalised 23 600 cases, but the figure rose to 24 568 in 2017. This resulted in the reduction of the backlog from 10 190 to 4 303.
The Labour Court recorded a 92 percent clearance rate. Magistrates’ courts countrywide received 171 485 cases in 2017 and completed 171 370 of them. The backlog of cases for the magistrates’ courts was at 3 714 at the end of 2017.